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Thomas Paine: Assessment Of Common Sense

1049 words - 4 pages

Schneider1Joshua SchneiderProfessor SauerU.S. History15 September 2014Thomas Paine's Common SenseThroughout Thomas Paine's book, Common Sense, he thoroughly discussed the concerns of the rights of individuals and the legality of rebellion. This was especially important because, at the time before the publication of Common Sense, the majority of American Colonies were rejecting rebellion. Once Common Sense was published the ideas of rebellion and revolution were much more accepted. This raises the question as to how were Thomas' skills as a rhetorician able to affect people in such a way to enact change. Being able to do such, it makes sense that others would use this famous work, to enact change with their own respective countries, etc.Paine seems to blame much of the ruling for creating the issues of individual rights and rebellion. He says, speaking of how rulers are chosen, "it hath happened since, that what at first was submitted to as a convenience, was afterwards claimed as a right" (Paine 20). This is saying that rulers were never chosen at first based upon how well they would rule, however based upon whether or not they are born into the royal families. He also says that "England, since the conquest, hath known some few good monarchs, but groaned beneath a much larger number of bad ones;" (Paine 20). Again this is stating that England has suffered from a lack of proper rulers. He also discusses that the way by which the first King was chosen has resulted in the lack of individual rights and the lack of rebellion. He claims that society and government are both related, "the first a patron, the last a punisher" (Paine 5). Because of this society is obviously at the hands of the government and has no power to enact rebellion or change. And because they cannot simply change their own rulers, or even choose their rulers how would society be able to gain rights or rebellion. The reason that rebellion was even rejected in the first place is because the rulers wanted to stay ruling. They wished to keep it within their families so they could remain rulers their whole lives. With rebellion comes change and that change can include a different ruler. One in the same, the people feared rebellion and revolution because of how harshly they might be punished for acting out against the government. This is why Thomas Paine's publication of the documents in Common Sense has become so important.Paine's abilities as a rhetorician have greatly helped his influential range affecting a great deal of people to start enacting change in society and in government. He says that "In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first thought. A thousand motives will excite them thereto, the strength of one man is so unequal to his wants, and his mind so unfitted for perpetual solitude, that he is soon obliged to seek assistance and relief of another, who in his turn requires the same" (Paine 6). This is saying that a developing government (all governments) can...

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