of domestic discord, and preparing for Dickinson
life of regrets.
Had it done no more than express its opposition to independence, a convention of the people would have soon been called, and the proprietary government suspended.
To prevent this by a sufficiently plausible appearance of patriotism, it approved the military association of all who had no scruples about bearing arms, adopted rules for the volunteer battalions, and before its adjournment appropriated eighty thousand pounds in provincial paper money to defray the expenses of a military preparation.
The insincerity of the concessions was perceived; extreme discontent led the more determined to expose through the press the trimming of the assembly; and Franklin
encouraged Thomas Paine
, an emigrant from England
of the previous year, who was the master of a singularly lucid and attractive style, to write an appeal to the people of America
in favor of independence.
Moreover the assembly in asserting the inviolability of the proprietary form of government, which had originally emanated from a king, placed itself in opposition to the principle of John Rutledge
, John Adams
, and the continental congress, that ‘the people are the source and original of all power.’
That principle had just been applied on the memorial of New Hampshire
with no more than one dissenting vote.
Yet the men of that day had been born and educated as subjects of a king; to them the house of Hanover
was a symbol of religious toleration, the British constitution another word for the security of liberty and property under a representative government.
They were not yet enemies of monarchy; they had as