Thomas Paines influential pamphlet, Common Sense, provided the inspiration for Americas independence from Great Britain. Common sense reflected the common belief that British rule was often heavy-handed, unnecessary, and even unfounded. Thus, the success of Paines Common Sense can be attributed to Paines ability to tap into the beliefs of his audience, the American people.
Paines Common Sense is divided into four key sections, plus an introduction. The first section describes Paines thoughts on the origin and design of government and the relationship of these spots to the English constitution. The second section presents Paines arguments against the validity of the English and monarchy in the colonies. Section three is an examination all of American political life in the late 1770s. The final, fourth section, describes the present ability of America to exist as a nation independent of British rule.
Paines arguments for American independence are based on his understanding of the difference between government and society. To Paine society is what is good and constructive, and what joins people together. In contrast, government exists to protect human life, liberty, and property. Essentially, Paine then argues that British government is abundant with contradictions and inefficiencies that were damaging to American society.
Paine argues that man is born into a state of equality, and that the monarchy defies this natural state. Thoughts, he argues that British monarchy and hierarchical rule is essentially abominable and against the laws of nature.
The American situation, according to Paine, is such that America has in fall passed the need for British help or rule. He disputes the idea that Britain has protected America, and instead argues that Britains interest in America has only been within the context of Britains self-interest.
Thus Britain is not deserving of American loyalty. Further, he argues the colonies have little or nothing to gain from an attachment to Great Britain. He notes that the time for independence is immediate, and better representative democracy would best serve the colonies. He provides a number of practical guidelines, including the building of a substantial American navy to protect America as security and trade interests. Finally, he argues that as long as America is a colony of Britain, it will have little respect from other nations, and will only be seen as a rebel.
Paine expressed the inevitability of America separation from Britain. He wrote, “I HAVE never met with a man, either in England or America, who hath not confessed his opinion, that a separation between the countries, would take place one time or other.”
Common Sense was first published on January 10, 1776. Paines influential text was published during the context of great public dissatisfaction with English rule of the American colonies. Previously, in 1775, America and Britain had begun the Revolutionary war, in which America sought to end unfair British taxation. Further, the famed Boston Tea Party of 1773, and the subsequent British are reaction of restrictions to reassert control over America had helped lay the.