Common sense by Thomas Paine is a true masterpiece in every sense. Thomas Paine was a prolific writer, his work is still regarded as one of the best and he is still looked up by many a people. This goes to show his legacy which he established over the period of time. Works like Common sense, The American Crisis etc inspired the people who were ready to fight for their freedom. Thomas Paine was a multi talented person, he had many skills in him like he was an intellectual person and at the same time he played a pivotal role in motivating the people to get the freedom from the British which they deserved. This paper will throw light upon the response of Thomas Paine who was an intellectual.
Common Sense provides a comprehensive understanding of why Paine wanted the Americans to fight for their freedom. This masterpiece was published in the year 1776. This was published anonymously by Paine; this was done so because in those days the people did not have the rights to express themselves. Thomas Paine was instrumental in motivating people. He was often taken to the soldiers who were going to participate in war and he used to give them speeches to motivate them and the soldiers enjoyed and relished his speeches and got motivated to a great extent. This goes to show how instrumental Paine was in motivating people.
Argument of Paine for declaring Independence from Great Britain
The domination of Americans by the Great Britain was a period when the American growth was hampered. The British rulers levied heavy taxes on the Americans who were forced to pay the heavy taxes, in addition to this there was corruption in the Church and not only in the Church, corruption was very common in almost all the areas at that time. This also led to the puritan movement which saw puritans move to another place to live in peace and harmony. This is also called the Mayflower Compact; the Mayflower Compact was a ship which transported American Puritans to another place.
Paine was simply ridiculed by the fact that an island was ruling a continent, in addition to this Paine believed that America was not a nation of the British, it had people from all over Europe settled in the country. Paine believed that there can be no growth possible if the British continue to rule the Americans, this was very true and made a lot of sense. People suffered from various diseases and had no food to eat; diseases like Scurvy affected countless people and took away many a life. The most important point of Paine was that the British rule had no compassion for the Americans whatsoever, they wanted to prosper at the cost of the Americans and this was unacceptable and this was exactly why Paine wanted the Americans to take an immediate action to free themselves from the shackles of slavery.
Hesitation of Americans to Declare Independence
“Common Sense was written for the common man. It came out of Thomas Paine’s own guts – out of the bitter years of poverty, the soured dreams, and the dreams that persisted in spite of disappointment and failure. It flowed from Paine’s’ anger and frustration with a complacent and self-congratulatory society that turned its back on misery and injustice, while complaining of the insolence and radicalism of the lower classes. It is passion that gives power to language, and Paine’s passion flowed into the sentences he wrote. Government and society were often confused, he told his readers. Actually they were quite different things. “Society is promoted by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices…. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.” That was the way, in any event, in which Thomas Paine had experienced government, as the punisher, as that aspect of society that preserved for the few their privileges against the needs of the many.” (Common Sense, 2009).
Paine strongly believed that the intent of getting freed from the British rule was always there in the people of America but they were not too bold to take any action, they took life and the situation for granted and believed that their life was good under the rule of the British. Paine also accused some people of being a little too chicken hearted, he introduced a new term in his essay the “Tories”. Tories were chicken hearted people who were too scared to participate in the struggle for their independence. These were the most important factors that held back the people from declaring independence.
Benefits of Declaring Independence
Paine believed that British rulers had always dominated America to ensure their well being and firmly believed that America would grow at a much faster rate after the independence. He believed that the trade opportunities would widen for the Americans if they free themselves from the British rule. America would have access to the European market and America would certainly grow making the most of the same. The Stamp act and the Hefty taxes levied on the American colonies triggered off another action of independence. Paine believed that it was high time that the Americans got their independence. He believed that the British oppression can only end by forming an alliance against them. He also believed that the Americans will have their own choice when it came to religion after independence, they would be free to practice any religion of their choice which was not the case before independence.
These were some of the most important benefits which Paine thought the people of America would get after independence. The freedom was got and the American colonies were settled in Virginia. Thomas Paine certainly succeeded in his endeavor of motivating people to achieve freedom.
Common Sense. In Thomas Paine.