Thomas Paine was an English philosopher and political theorist who wrote powerful propaganda for the independence of the American colonies against Britain and became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Books such as Paine’s Common Sense were often used from the 16th century up to the 19th century as a way to spread ideas. Common Sense is credited as being one of the most influential and critical books in American history as it united the colonies with the idea of a revolution.
In this pamphlet, Thomas Paine stages his argument in favor of the independence of the American Colonies. Common Sense was read at gathering aloud to rebels who couldn’t read it themselves and who might have not gotten an education. Because of this it had to be written in such a way so that anyone would be able to understand it. Paine stated “As it is my design to make those that can scarcely read understand, I shall therefore avoid every literary ornament and put it in language as plain as the alphabet.
” This means that the book is still able to be read by someone today, the language is straightforward, his argument is pretty easy to understand, and there are even some parts in the pamphlet where Paine’s passion and frustration shine through.
Even though Thomas Paine was by far the poorest of the Founding Fathers, he decided to give his part of the money that was earned from Common Sense and donated it to the Continental Army instead. On top of this very kind gesture of his, Paine also decided to serve in the army and wrote a series of pamphlets called “The American Crisis” that would be printed in newspapers throughout the colonies
Paine has written the first few of them by the light of a campfire during Washington’s desperate retreat across New Jersey, in December, 1776. Getting ready to go across the frozen Delaware River, in a blizzard to launch a surprise attack on Trenton, Washington ordered Paine’s words to be read aloud to his tired soldiers “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” The next morning, the Continentals fought to be surprisingly victorious which was important.
Paine’s career didn’t stop there, he had gotten sued for false statements, got involved in the French Revolution, was accused of promoting blasphemy in The Age of Reason. Paul Collins, one of Paine’s biographers, describes him as “a walking revolution,” and it seemed to be that he had a special talent of getting himself into trouble.
“One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.” In other words, Thomas Paine is stating that it is unlawful in nature to have royalty chosen solely based on whether or not they are born into it and not chosen. In nature the “king” is chosen by the dominant male and may even have death as a result. So Paine’s compromise would be to vote on the more qualified candidate for people to follow. I personally agree with this thinking because it has a less likely chance to have corruption in it as a monarchy would have.
Even though he had become a not so very liked man towards the end of his life, Common Sense is still one of the most important pieces in the history of the United States because or its influence. Despite everything, Thomas Paine’s will be remembered.
Overall I think this book is very interesting and different than most history books, but it really narrows it down to important events that happened during his time. Thomas Paine was very intelligent man and he was very ahead of his time, i think that is what made him different than the rest of the founding fathers. It is a very good thing he took the time to write this book. Although it may not be the most exciting book I think everyone should read this book and appreciate the simplicity of some history.
Cite this Powerful Propaganda for the Independence of the American Colonies Against Britain
Powerful Propaganda for the Independence of the American Colonies Against Britain. (2021, Mar 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/powerful-propaganda-for-the-independence-of-the-american-colonies-against-britain/