London: Printed for T. Cadell, in the Strand, 1776. , 128 pp. With the half title, as issued. Bound in modern paper over boards, Very Good.
"The encouragement derived from this book had no inconsiderable share in determining the American colonists to declare their independence" [Church]. It "ranks next to Paine's Common Sense as the most often reprinted work of its time. It is said to have had considerable influence on the drafting of the Declaration of Independence" [Decker]. This is the first edition, followed by many British and American printings.
Price adopts the Natural Rights theory of Liberty, and its axiom that government exists by the consent of the governed. "There is nothing that requires more to be watched than power. There is nothing that ought to be opposed with a more determined resolution than its encroachment." From this perspective, he opposes England's War with America; and answers authoritatively each British argument favoring the War. Price also absolves the Colonists of responsibility for African Slavery. "It is not the fault of the Colonies that they have among them so many of those unhappy people. They have made laws to prohibit the importation of them; but these laws have always had a negative put upon them here because of their tendency to hurt our Negro trade."
FIRST EDITION. Reese, Revolutionary Hundred 38. Howes P586. Adams, American Independence 224a. Church 1137. 31 Decker 21. Item #32016