U.S. History to 1876
The Spark: Common Sense
Common Sense written by Thomas Paine is a book that helped unify America while emancipating from Britain during the late 1700s. In his book Paine expresses his ideas of religion, government, freedom and society. Very quickly Paine engages the audience with a strict definition separating society from government; these were two concepts often confused at this time. Paine describes an idea of societal definition consisting of a unified people bonded in their pursuit of happiness. Paine also looks at and defines government as a necessary evil “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one” (Paine pg.1). In this small book Paine persuades readers to a notion of a great independence, he builds this argument on evidence that times will only get harder the longer U.S. citizens wait. He calls America to stand up and fight for what we so desperately needed at the time, a local government with local representation to build people into a societal based nation. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was written for an audience of not only American people but also the British. In writing this piece Paine was justifying the colonies separation from Britain rule, the emancipation to those who were skeptic made sense to all involved. In his writing Paine makes the argument towards America unifying and becoming a self-governed nation for the benefit of all immigrants. This was important to the author because he believed that all men were born equal. With the emancipation from British colonies, all immigrants would have an opportunity to achieve a level of freedom not experienced in the European nations at this time.
In Paine’s writing we see obvious conflict between the British and U.S. colonies. In one excerpt concerning the British colonies Paine writes, “if we will suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the...