Rights of Man

Topics: Thomas Paine, United States Declaration of Independence, Liberalism Pages: 2 (503 words) Published: December 12, 2006
The Rights of Man

Thomas Paine was one of our nations founding fathers and one of the greatest pamphleteers of all time. He was responsible for many influential writings including Common Sense, Crisis, and The Rights of Man, his response to Edmund Burke's criticism of the French Revolution. In this declaration, Paine's message is that of a need for a Republican government that understands and carries out the natural rights of all men. Paine claims that despotism such as what was in place in France before their revolution, holds the people in ignorance and degrades them. A monarchy should never be in power because they too often do not pay attention to each individuals rights.

Paine's message is also still very pertinent today. He speaks of an equality between all persons. Paine declares that all men and women are born free and have equal rights for there entire existence. The only distinctions in rights between people are based on their contribution to society. For example the President of the United States has special rights or powers because of what he gives to society. A person's intrinsic rights, however, cannot be lost or violated.

Paine, being one of the nations founding fathers, speaks very critically and passionately about the role that government should play in its peoples lives. Paine claims that the only end for a government or any kind of political association is to serve the people. This service that the government gives the people is national security, and protection of liberty, property and against any oppression. According to Paine, these are the only roles that a government should take. I thought that this particular point by Paine was especially interesting given today's modern thought by some that we need a bigger government that has more control of things. When the founding fathers formed this country, they intentionally made the government as small as possible so as not to infringe on human rights.

I also thought that...
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