Common Sense

by

Thomas Paine

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King George III Character Analysis

George III (1738–1820) reigned as King of Great Britain from 1760–1820. He was king at the time that hostilities broke out between British troops and the American colonial militia in the 1770s, and was the king against whom the US Declaration of Independence listed its grievances. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was the first prominent work to not only advocate for American independence, but to directly take George III to task for his oppressive rule over the colonies, calling him, among other things, a “Royal Brute” and a tyrant.

King George III Quotes in Common Sense

The Common Sense quotes below are all either spoken by King George III or refer to King George III. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Role of Government Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of Common Sense published in 2016.
3. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs Quotes

Wherefore, her own interest leads her to suppress the growth of ours in every case which doth not promote her advantage, or in the least interferes with it. A pretty state we should soon be in under such a second-hand government, considering what has happened! […] And in order to shew that reconciliation now is a dangerous doctrine, I affirm, that it would be policy in the king at this time, to repeal the acts for the sake of reinstating himself in the government of the provinces; in order, that HE MAY ACCOMPLISH BY CRAFT AND SUBTILTY, IN THE LONG RUN, WHAT HE CANNOT DO BY FORCE AND VIOLENCE IN THE SHORT ONE. Reconciliation and ruin are nearly related.

Related Characters: Thomas Paine (speaker), King George III
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING.

Related Characters: Thomas Paine (speaker), King George III
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
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King George III Character Timeline in Common Sense

The timeline below shows where the character King George III appears in Common Sense. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
3. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs
Independence vs. Dependence Theme Icon
Reason, Morality, and Rhetoric Theme Icon
Some also argue that Britain is America’s “parent country.” Paine argues that the King exploits this phrase in order to prey on weak minds. The reality, he says, is... (full context)
The Role of Government Theme Icon
The Case Against Monarchy Theme Icon
Independence vs. Dependence Theme Icon
...matters were to be resolved now, it would be ruinous for America. First of all, King George III would have arbitrary sway over the laws of America. England will constantly try... (full context)
Appendix
The Case Against Monarchy Theme Icon
Independence vs. Dependence Theme Icon
On the same day that Common Sense was released, a speech of King George III was published in Philadelphia. The speech helped ripen people’s sentiments for independence. Paine... (full context)