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Common Sense Summary And Review

1116 words - 5 pages

The immediate sensation of 1776, Common Sense, a pamphlet by Thomas Paine, had given the urge to many Americans at the time to fight for their independence. January, 10 1776, the pamphlet was published at around the begging of the American Revolution and had hit all of the colonies. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Even George Washington had read it to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history. Paine wrote this pamphlet into four sections: Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution; Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession; Thoughts on Present State of American Affairs; On the Present Ability of America, with some Miscellaneous Reflections.
Thomas Paine begins the first section of the pamphlet distinguishing the differences between society and government. “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” In other words, Paine is saying that society is everything good of which the people accomplish together and government has its origins in the evil of man and is therefore a necessary evil at best. Paine says that government's main purpose is to protect life, liberty and property, and that a government should be judged to which it accomplishes this goal. Then Thomas continues with an analogy of a few people isolated in nature without a government. He explains that they found it easier to live together than on their own, therefore they accomplish a society. As it grows, problems occur and then they need rules. The society continuously grows. It then needs a government, then laws. But yet there are so many people in the society and cannot make laws in one group, thus they have elections. Pain then states that this is the best way to balance government with society. Thomas wrote, “that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered, and the easier repaired when disordered.” Whereas of the English’s constitution and their way of governing with tyranny; as Paine soon critiques, “England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies.”
Thomas Paine continues the next section explaining monarchy in his perspective both biblically and historically. “In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology there were no kings; the consequence of which was, there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion…...

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