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Founding Father, Inspirational Writer And American Revolutionary: Thomas Paine

1801 words - 8 pages

Thomas Paine: founding father, inspirational writer, and American revolutionary was described by R. L. Duffus as "He represents in many ways the highest idealism, the deepest faith of the eighteenth century, translated brilliantly into journalistic terms and sustained by character as unselfish as Washington's own." (“Paine, Thomas” n.p.) This statement is fitting to this man who would be a modern day journalist considering that Paine was idealistic in his best-selling pamphlet of the eighteenth century, “Common Sense”. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was closely associated with the Enlightenment movement, which lasted throughout the 18th century and most important themes included change and reason (“Age of Enlightenment” n.p). Rationalism, secularism, tolerance, utilitarianism, self-confidence, and optimism were all sub themes of the movement that thinkers tried to apply reason and common sense to throughout institutions and daily activities (“Age of Enlightenment” n.p). Thomas Paine’s method of developing arguments and influential writing style that spoke the language of the people helped to make his forty seven page pamphlet “Common Sense” successful in inspiring the American Revolution.
Thomas Paine did not freely decide to leave England for the Colonies, in fact he was discovered by Ben Franklin who took a special interest in Paine’s enjoyment of science which was enough to win his approval (“Paine, Thomas” n.p). Franklin then sent Paine, who had no money, to America to start a life and gave him a job through a letter of recommendation that he sent to his son-in-law Richard Bache (“Paine, Thomas” n.p). Had Franklin not taken a special interest in Paine, he may have never been sent over to the colonies. Had he not been sent over to the colonies, there would not have been a forty seven page pamphlet that would inspire the people of the colonies to overthrow the King of Britain. Through the release of Paine’s “Common Sense”, rebellious opinionative literature began to become more popular since someone finally stood up to the British (“Paine's Common Sense” n.p). No one had ever read something quite like Paine’s pamphlet that totally disrespected and attacked the British the way he did while inspiring the people of the colonies to take up arms against the crown. Due to Paine publishing the pamphlet, he gained immense fame for his arguments he posed towards British Parliament. Paine inspired colonists to take action against the British monarchy and replace it with a democracy, because only democracy could guarantee colonists the natural rights of man (“Thomas Paine” n.p). The British had been pressing the colonists for quite some time and were treated unfairly and as if they were lesser than British soldiers. After reading Paine’s arguments and reasoning in his “Common Sense”, the colonists became inspired to break away from the crown and have their own country that people to this day can call The United States of America. Paine’s “Common Sense” has...

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