The Effects of Thomas Paine's Common Sense
How important was it for America to gain its independence from England? Thomas Paine, an English radicalist, thought that it was extremely important. Important enough to write a pamphlet on why American Colonist should have independence. At the time, 1776, many Americans felt the same way about Paine's view on independence, but never took any action on it. Common Sense was published in 1776 as a way to engage people in certain political issues at hand. It was written by Thomas Paine to show that a break with England was only inevitable but justified. In Common Sense, Paine tries to convince people that the time for debate was over and that it was now time for American Colonists to raise arms against England. Paine tries to use a style of presenting this information that will not only convince but inspire or motivate American Colonists and raise up against the king.
Thomas Paine divides Common Sense into four sections. First and second talking about how a government should be set up, and why a monarchy is wrong and how the effects of hereditary succession are negative. Paine starts the second half of the pamphlet on the natural rights human beings have. He ends it by talking about the capabilities of America and how the Colonists would be able to defeat Great Britain. Paine actually assumed an American victory. Knowing that England was very powerful at the time, people were probably afraid and thought that it would be impossible to overthrow the monarchy. It was definitely reasonable for the Colonists to believe that this incredible feat of victory was in fact impossible. Paine had to be pretty stinkin' bold to make an assumption of victory. The hardest thing for Paine was probably not just convincing people to believe that a monarchy was wrong and independence was a must, getting these people to raise arms. That, I would argue, is the main reason for this pamphlet.
Thomas Paine's Common Sense brings awareness to the fact that the way of life for the American Colonists was not true and natural. It calls the lovers of all mankind to their duties as human beings to stand up for their natural rights. Common Sense was definitely an effective piece of propaganda for encouraging American Colonists to raise arms against Great Britain because of Paine's unique and bold style of writing, and his reasons for gaining independence.
Thomas Paine thought the English Constitution to be extremely complicated and contradictory. In the Constitution of England, there are supposed to be three powers that have the ability of checking one another, the king, the peers and the commons. This is a contradiction to the idea of a king because it gives commons the power to check the king, which is absurd saying that the king cannot be trusted alone, and that the commons is more knowledgeable than the king himself. On the same note this empowers afterwards the king to check the commons. This says that the king is wiser than those in commons who were already more intelligent than the king. This presents much confusion and ambiguity to the American Colonists about the English Constitution. As if to show that them that the Constitution and this idea of a king are not what some people may seem to believe they are. Paine shows that the idea of a king is very ridiculous by using easy to understand words. He makes it easy be stating, "The state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly." (Common Sense pg. 6). That statement shows that one man could not possibly know how to govern a large body of people by himself. There is no way that very many people will be satisfied with king's decisions. Paine's idea of a government allows representatives from each state to speak to a congress on the behalf of their community that is a smaller number of people. Therefore, more people will be happy and satisfied. It is the idea that...
Bibliography: Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. Published by Barnes and Noble, 1995.
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