“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine

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Thomas Paine created some of the most significant pamphlets about the colonial situation in the 1700’s. As the American Revolution was on the brink of separation, he had the opportunity to make his opinions known through his writing. Paine was most famous at the time for his writings such as Common Sense and his Crisis papers. Through his particular style of reasoning and passion, Paine’s Common Sense became very essential for America’s decision to declare independence from Britain.

Part of Paine’s main motives was for people to understand his opinions clearly through his writings. Paine’s writings gave his readers a chance to read on with an open mind and to create an opinion for them. Paine sought to give “nothing more but simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense. ” Paine’s attitude in the start of his writing is more of a calmly approach, although, he later he is more enthusiastic. Paine’s argument was first based on general views about government and religion.

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For example, “Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that every lived. ” Paine uses distinguished words to express the importance he feels this matter takes, stating “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ” Throughout “Common Sense”, Paine uses more examples as he goes more into an elaboration with his passionate comments. Paine puts in plain words that a compromise is not a choice. He describes American being united and dependent on Britain as a negative outcome.

For example he says, “As parents, we can have no joy, knowing that this government is not sufficiently lasting to ensure anything which we may bequeath to posterity: And by a plain method of argument, as we are running the next generation into debt, we ought to do the work of it, otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully. In order to discover the line of our duty rightly, we should take our children in our hand, and fix our station a few years farther into life; that eminence will present a prospect, which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight. (Paine, Common Sense)

Paine continues on to talk about society and government. According to Paine, “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; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. ”(Paine, Common Sense) Paine expresses how he believes government to be a “necessary evil”, whose only purpose is “restraining our vices”.

Paine feels that government should only lessen the problems for man but not to live with government is the “natural state”. If a government does not fulfill this duty then it is responsible. As Paine continues through his writings he comes across as courageous. For example, “I challenge the warmest advocate for reconciliation to show a single advantage that this continent can reap by being connected with Great Britain. I repeat the challenge; not a single advantage is derived. (Paine, Common Sense)

Thomas Paine talks about the goods that the colonies grow can still be able to sell and that the colonies could still buy imported goods from elsewhere. He continues to be adamant that the “injuries and disadvantages” (Paine, Common Sense) that Great Britain would force upon the colonies would make the coalition between America and Great Britain insignificant. Throughout “Common Sense”, One of Paine’s main opinions were of his dislike of monarchy, both as an institution and the particular monarchy in Britain.

Paine tries to convince his readers that America is no need of a king and to no longer be apart of Britain’s monarchy. For example, Paine says “But where says some is the King of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain… let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING. (Paine, Common Sense)

Paine’s use of strong words help maintain the clarity of his point, that America no longer needed to depend on Great Britain and America could create a systematical government of their own , and insisting the idea that those who oppose him threatening “are opening a door to eternal tyranny by keeping vacant the seat of government. ”(Paine, Common Sense) With his passionate, particular style of writing and his use of plain language, Paine influenced many to take pride within themselves and for their country. “Common Sense” was surely one of the most important documents that led up to the American Revolution.

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“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine. (2016, Oct 07). Retrieved from


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