DBQ3: Documents of Democracy


Thomas Paine argued for American independence in his 1776 pamphlet, Common Sense.

Were a manifesto to be published, and dispatched to foreign courts, setting forth the miseries we have endured, and the peaceable methods we have ineffectually used for redress; declaring, at the same time, that not being able, any longer, to live happily or safely under the cruel disposition of the British court, we had been driven to the necessity of breaking off all connections with her; at the same time, assuring all such courts of our peaceable disposition towards them, and of our desire of entering into trade with them: Such a memorial would produce more good effects to this Continent, than if a ship were freighted with petitions to Britain.

Under our present denomination of British subjects, we can neither be received nor heard abroad: The custom of all courts is against us, and will be so, until, by an independence, we take rank with other nations.

Document 3
a. What complaints of the colonists does Paine want foreign nations to know about?
b. Why does Paine want foreign nations to know about the colonies' unhappiness of living under British rule?

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