Road to the American Revolution -Words from Thomas Paine, and Howard Zinn

Essay by chhilhoneyCollege, UndergraduateA+, July 2006

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Among the many writings that were published in this era, the work of Thomas Paine stands out as some of the most influential. Paine's writings advocate unity among the colonists, and in doing so, also offers a civilized voice of opposition. His works emphasize the importance of independence and a need to 'protect' the people. Understandably so, the colonists were tired of the mistreatment they had endured from British rule over their government, and the imposed countless taxes "without representation." In addition, it seemed that the rich merely cared about protecting their own wealth which fueled tempers among the colonials to the point of riots and attacks on wealthy land owners and high ranking officials. Paine's Common Sense brought a voice of a different kind, one that spoke for most of the colonists. In his pamphlet Paine refers to several situations that serve as motives for joining the opposition. He verbally attacks the British government and their motives for control over the states.

Paine's pamphlet was convincing because it provided a firm stance against the government that the people could relate to, but some still had limited knowledge of their activities used to maintain power. For example, although the British government included the colonists in their efforts against the French and Native American allies, the colonial soldiers were poorly treated and Paine states that Britain "did not protect us from our enemies on our account, but from her enemies on her account" (Paine, AR 25). Paine suggested that these 'enemies' of Britain should be viewed alternatively because these nations may wish to "seek our friendship" and in turn provide economic growth. Furthermore, Britain has involved the states with conflicts that have no ties to America, but have had a negative impact on their lives further recognizing the neglect of the...