When you think about the word common sense, what does it honestly mean? Thomas Paine an English philosopher and a political theorist who would later become one of our Founding Fathers of the United States. While writing his powerful propaganda for the independence movement that was happening in the American colonies, Payne used the ideals of the Enlightenment movement. There were different forms of communication during this time, but the most used forms were pamphlets. During the time between the 16th and 19th century, pamphlets were an essential tool for spreading ideas or news throughout the colonies.
Paine’s Common Sense is thought to be one of the most potent pamphlets in the history of America. Common Sense acknowledges with uniting the colonists by bringing them to the idea of a revolution. Common Sense is divided into four sections: Of the Origin and Design of Government in general, with concise Remarks in the English Constitution, Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession, Thoughts on the present State of American Affairs and of the present Ability of America, with some Miscellaneous Reflections.
Paine begins Common Sense by distinguishing the difference between society and the government. Society is constructive and stimulates happiness, which brings everyone together to accomplish tasks while the government carries out punishments produced by those who are wicked. The government’s purpose is to protect the people but as times move on and the society expands problems will start to multiply. With society extending this will force the people to make regulations. Henceforth, it is essential to form a government to require. Paine talks about the scenario of his readers to visualize what it’s like to not worry about the whole society. In the interior of this society, everyone will be happier since they can make their own laws and regulations to govern themselves. This island that Payne is referring to as America since it is separate from the rest of Europe’s society.
Thomas Paine states how mankind started out with a state of equality but then because of specific outcomes mankind became unequal. At the beginning of the world, there were no kings, but the Jews sustained in establishing a king who caused them to sin. All kings need to be chosen by the people from an election, and if that one king is elected, then all the kings need to be. With the nation electing a king, that king will have the same views and beliefs of those who elected the king. Paine uses biblical evidence of the beginning of the monarchy and why revolting against it is not natural or preferable government. All mankind needs to be ruled by one person, and that is God. Within that time period of history, the usage of biblical references helps shape opinions of the colonist.
The last sections of Common Sense, Paine describing the current state of America, and what it will eventually become. Great Britain had shielded America from invasions from other European countries, but they have also used America for financial gain. America can and will in time separate from Britain but when it will happen is the concern. Paine gives outstanding persuasion on how America will be like when it gains its independence like: building a navy to conquer the British navy, have international alliances, and have plenty of raw materials to trade with other countries. Common Sense during its time has helped many colonists envision what American could become and how their lives could transform in the future.
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