Thomas Paine: Assessment of Common Sense

Essay by jdschneidesCollege, UndergraduateB+, November 2014

download word file, 4 pages 0.0


Joshua Schneider

Professor Sauer

U.S. History

15 September 2014

Thomas Paine's Common Sense

Throughout Thomas Paine's book, Common Sense, he thoroughly discussed the concerns of the rights of individuals and the legality of rebellion. This was especially important because, at the time before the publication of Common Sense, the majority of American Colonies were rejecting rebellion. Once Common Sense was published the ideas of rebellion and revolution were much more accepted. This raises the question as to how were Thomas' skills as a rhetorician able to affect people in such a way to enact change. Being able to do such, it makes sense that others would use this famous work, to enact change with their own respective countries, etc.

Paine seems to blame much of the ruling for creating the issues of individual rights and rebellion. He says, speaking of how rulers are chosen, "it hath happened since, that what at first was submitted to as a convenience, was afterwards claimed as a right" (Paine 20).

This is saying that rulers were never chosen at first based upon how well they would rule, however based upon whether or not they are born into the royal families. He also says that "England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones;" (Paine 20). Again this is stating that England has suffered from a lack of proper rulers. He also discusses that the way by which the first King was chosen has resulted in the lack of individual rights and the lack of rebellion. He claims that society and government are both related, "the first a patron, the last a punisher" (Paine 5). Because of this society is obviously at the hands of the government and has no power to enact...