Primary Source Analysis Common Sense

Topics: American Revolution, United States Declaration of Independence, John Adams Pages: 3 (791 words) Published: February 27, 2014

Primary Source Analysis
Thomas Paine Common Sense

Context:
In result of The Seven Years’ War Britain controlled American trade and territory. In order to pay for the expenses of the war several taxation acts and military presence were implemented such as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, Currency Act, Quartering Act and the presence of British troops at the colonies. Consequently, Americans who thought these actions violated their political and constitutional liberties opposed these policies with petitions, boycotts, and resistance strategies known as the Imperial Crisis. In January 1776 Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was composed to convince Americans of the need for independence from British rule and establishment of democracy. This pamphlet was written in common language to appeal to lower class citizens, rather than written in Latin, which was aimed towards the small elite. Also, Paine made several biblical references to appeal to his the people and King George III, “the Pharaoh of England” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense). Ironically, Thomas Paine was an English immigrant; however he offered a good perspective on the importance of American independence. Thomas Paine, John Adams and Dr. Benjamin Rush consisted of a group who fought for American independence by constructing the pamphlet. Attacking the English government, Paine states, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an in tolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamities is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer!” (Thomas Paine, Common Sense).

Content:
The main point in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was independence from British rule and the establishment of democracy. To build his case Paine points out many faults in the English government consisting of its complexity, the absurd...
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