Thomas Paine And Common Sense Essay Research

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Thomas Paine And Common Sense Essay, Research Paper In early 1776 the sentiment surrounding the idea of revolution was evenly divided in Britain’s colonies in America. The feelings were split evenly between those for a revolt, those opposing it and those who were neutral. In January 1776 Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense. The ideas and theories expressed in the pamphlet were very compelling and thorough. Compelling enough to sway much of the undecided colonists to agree that revolt is the necessary course of action. Paine states in the introduction to Common Sense “a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at fist a formidable outcry in defense of custom.” This argument is not one of listing injustices or even

reasons for revolt but it does provoke the reader to decide if his thoughts are genuine or from not thinking critically about the times and situations. Now that we my “suffer ourselves to examine the component parts of the English Constitution,” the faults shall be found. Paine argues one theoretical position that could influence those loyal to the King himself. If the British constitution is a system of checks and balances and the commons are the check on the king then this infers, “That the king is not to be trusted.” This brings to light an underlying fault with the way the British system of government is arranged. Paine is against a divided form of government. He feels that simpler government is best. That way the people know whom to hold responsible. He also feels

the king did not get better with the creation of a chambered government only subtle. He later states that the system, “hath all the distinctions of an house divided against itself.” He then again makes the argument that the loyalists have not opened their eyes to the faults of the British form of government. Paine says that those in favor of the current form of government feel that way “more from national pride than reason.” Paine contends that there is no reason to feel loyalty to Britain. He feels that all the actions of Britain are in its self-interest. He feels the colonies would not need defending if Britain would not bring its enemies to the colonies. There would not have been a French and Indian war because the colonies would not be enemies of the French. Paine

believes that the protection that the British give to its colonies is the same protection a “shepherd gives to his sheep.” This supposes that the British Empire only cares about its colonies in North America because they supply raw materials and a market for manufactured goods. Paine concludes Common Sense by contending that the colonies have an opportunity to make a government the correct way. His argument is that forms of government such as Britain have formed themselves in the opposite order necessary for proper government. “First, they had a king, and then a form of government; whereas the articles or charter of government should be formed first, and men delegated to execute them afterwards.” He strongly urges the colonists to take advantage of their “present

opportunity.” He calls them to, “begin government at the right end.” In The Declaration of Independence authored mainly by Thomas Jefferson many arguments are made for the right of the colonists to rebel. Among these arguments are the theories of consent of the governed, natural rights of man and self-evident truths. The natural rights of man are those given by God and cannot be taken away or even given up. By losing these rights a person would become less human. Some of these rights include “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” as named by Jefferson. Jefferson felt that the current state of affairs in the colonies did not allow for these rights to be realized. He listed the crimes committed by the British government that violate these rights. Among these