Can you summarize the four main sections of Thomas Paine's Common Sense pamphlet?

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In 1776, Thomas Paine advocated American independence in his famous pamphlet, Common Sense. In Chapter 1, Paine argues that the British government is a "house divided against itself" because its three components - the monarchy, the aristocracy and the Commons - are not working in harmony. As a result, the voice of the American people is not being heard and the colony is being badly governed.

Next, in Chapter 2, Paine states that a monarchy is not the best form of government because there is a always a danger that a king may be a rogue or a fool. In other words, a monarchy gives absolute power to one person and is therefore does not represent the interests of its subjects.

In Chapter 3, Paine goes on to state that the relationship between Britain and America is only beneficial to the former and never to the latter. Staying loyal to Britain is no longer an option because it puts Americans at risk of making enemies with other countries in Europe.

Finally, in his fourth chapter, Paine argues that a separation between Britain and America is not only inevitable but also the best course of action for the colonists. They were stronger than ever before because they have the necessary raw materials to manufacture goods for sale and the connections to make independent trade a success. In his opinion, these economic advantages would ensure that America thrived as an independent  nation.  This change may not be easy but, over time, the colonists would see that it was the right to do. 

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