Letter to the Citizens of the United States


Category: Economics and Politics

By Thomas Paine

Published in 1803

Reference #1035

Published in London, the publication of this work is unknown for it is missing a date. Written by the revolutionary and pamphleteer, Thomas Paine these letters were written on his return to America from France after a fifteen year absence. The letters were written with the intent of announcing his arrival to his friends and enemies. Paine declares he is not returning to America to accept any place or office in the government. He states he has some unpublished work that he would like to see published. Paine continues his letters with discussions of the American political group called the Federalists. The Federalists were the first American political party. The party was formed by Alexander Hamilton in the 1790s and lasted until 1816. The Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs, and good relations with Britain as expressed in the Jay Treaty negotiated in 1794.

In the beginning of his return, Paine saw the Federalists as neither good nor bad, but as friends with principles and beliefs that were the same as when he left except for now they were calling themselves Federalists. As time went by Paine got to know the Federalists and seen them as having no judgment, no consistency in plans. He further states the Federalists have opposition without cause and a conduct without system. In the end, Paine urged America’s citizens to see the Federalists party for what they were and to see their falsehoods.