Common Sense

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In Thomas Paine?s inspirational 18th century pamphlet, Common Sense, there is an unprecedented feeling of pride and concern. As a radical writer Paine sparked emotions in the colonies that would soon lead to war. Paine?s goal was not violence and bloodshed, but freedom and the will to defend the people of the colonies. Paine felt that England and its king were oppressing America with acts and taxes that were unlawful and wrong in their position. This forced the colonies into poverty and termoil. With this Paine believed that reconciliation was not an option and the only way for America to be independent was to part all ties to England.

The colonies were an essential part of the ?English Empire?. They brought in money and commerce. The lands were fruitful and abundant, but most of all well governed. This all changed during the French and Indian War when the English monarchy said that they will repay all the debts of war, but when it came down to paying they had no money because of their own debt problems.

So they imposed several acts and taxes on the people of the colonies that caused poverty and oppression. This cause the overall feeling of a need for independence and when Paine developed a controversial hatred for England.

Paine first attacks England and its king with questions of religious morality, its monarchical society, and its law of hereditary succession. Paine believes that the one and only king is God and that humans should not bow to any other ?false gods?.

As exulting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal right of nature, so neither can it be defended on the authority of scripture; for the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings.1 This falls under the same premise of a monarchical society, where one person rules many. Paine again reverts to religion as he quotes Samuel in a Biblical verse to reveal that ?kings are oppressors and the standing vices they use are bribery, corruption, and favoritism?.2 Then after a king is in power his is succeeded by a person of his own blood. To Paine, nothing was worse than hereditary succession where a person of any age can rule over a country of much wiser and smarter people. ?But as it opens a door to the foolish, the wicked, and the improper, it hath in it the nature of oppression?.3 These attacks at the English monarchy let the people of the colonies realize what was really going on and gave them an alternative to speak out against England and it oppressors.

Paine then evokes a sense of pride by citing how important freedom and independence to the future of the colonies. Paine tells the people that there is no alternative. Reconciliation is no longer an option and the colonies have to take the risk that goes along with being independent to achieve their natural right of freedom. ?Reconciliation is was a falacious dream. Nature hath deserted the connexion, and Art cannot supply her face.?4 Paine then gives idea?s on how, when the lengthy separation is over, to run our new government. Giving hope to the colonies and also not letting them think negatively about the situation.

Going into 1776 the people of the colonies had something never thought to be important, the will to be free. Through Paine?s writing the people became united as a country to fight against the evil monarchy of England. The emotions spark from this pamphlet gave a simple sense to the common man to uproot what is wrong and make it right.