Thomas Paine’s life started in January 29, 1737 in the town of Thetford, County Norfolk. Joseph Paine and Frances Cocke were the parents of Thomas Paine and they both wanted him to become something in a higher profession other than to follow his father’s trade. With this intention, his parents made a sacrifice to enrolled Paine into the local grammar school at the age of six in hopes of him becoming a lawyer or a doctor but unfortunately, Paine dropped out of school later on in the years to follow his father’s trade. Paine didn’t do so well at that either and he experimented with other jobs such as a privateer, an excise, and finally a journalist. Paine became an important figure publishing many of his works including “Common Sense”, an influential piece that pushed for independence, which was published in 1776 and followed by “The American Crisis”. Later in his lifetime, he was arrested for not supporting the execution of Louis XVI and was put away in jail for some time. However, Paine escaped the Guillotine with the help of James Monroe and returned to the Colonies after being invited by President Jefferson. On June 8, 1809, he died at the age of 72 in New York. England & the Colonies
During the 1770’s leading up to the Declaration of Independence, there were many conflicts within the nation of America and also conflicts with the Great Britain. There was the Olive Branch Petition which was brought together by the Continental Congress to be sent to the king as an act of reconciliation. It was disregarded by the king and no action was taken. Another event that happened was the war between the colonists in Boston. The British troops marched to concord with orders to “seize arms being stockpiled there.” (Give Me Liberty, 192) Later, the Second Continental Congress gives permission to start an army that would be led by George Washington and the Congress printed money intended for the army. Britain sent thousands of troops to the colonies after declaring them in state of rebellion and ordered the closing of ports. There were also the taxes on tea which made many of the colonists very angry. This was called the Tea Act. The government used the Tea Act as a way of increasing profits and resulted in the Boston Tea Party. As a result, over 300 barrels of tea into the ocean by colonists disguised as Indians to rebel against the act. Summary of Common Sense
Common Sense was a pamphlet that was written by Thomas Paine and published with the help of Robert Bell in January, 1776 in Philadelphia. Common Sense consisted of 46 pages in which Thomas Paine basically discusses to his audience, the North American Colonies, the need for independence from England and he also talks about becoming self governing country. Paine wrote that “while there may have been a time when American dependence on England had been beneficial,” the colonies no longer need the English to help because they are “growing maturity as a nation and as a people.” “We may as well believe that because a child has thrived upon milk that it is never to have meat.”(46 Pages, 73) Common Sense was written in a simple manner for the people to understand it clearly. Paine wrote about how “people’s rights were natural rights conferred not by the governments but by the creator” meaning that colonists didn’t have to fight to defend their rights but it was Britain who had the responsibility to defend and protect their rights as well as “preserving those rights on behalf of its subjects.” (46 Pages, 74) From there, Paine started discussing matters about King George who was considered the “real villain of Common sense.” (46 Pages, 74) He talked about how hereditary rule was bizarre for the reason that the right to govern was passed down from one generation to the next. Both the king and the House of Lords followed the hereditary rule and only the House of Commons were for the people. Therefore, the problem with this is that the hereditary group, the king and the...
References: Liell, Scott. 46 Pages. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running
Press , 2003. Print.
Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty. 3rd Edition. 1. New York,
New York: W.W Norton & Company, 2012. Print.
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