In Common Sense, Paine first summarises the components of the English Constitution:
- First. - The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king
- Secondly. - The remains of aristocratical tyranny in the persons of the peers.
- Thirdly. - The new republican materials in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England.
He then follows up with:
The two first, by being hereditary, are independent of the people; wherefore in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state.
What exactly does Paine mean by, "in a constitutional sense they contribute nothing towards the freedom of the state?"