Title: Was The Federalists Papers Really Propaganda In The Same Sense As The Declaration Of Independence And Paine's Common Sense?

749 words - 3 pages

Ithink that the Federalists Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and Paine's Common Sense were all forms of propaganda. Each, however, served topromote different ideas about American life and America as a nation, whether itwas about a different outlook of war, what the government's purpose is, or adefense and justification for the new federal constitution.Inthe first year of the Revolutionary War, many people were still unsure of whatthey were fighting for. At one extreme, people such as the Adam cousins andRichard Henry Lee wanted complete independence for England. At the oppositeextreme, they hoped for moderate reforms in the imperial relationship thatwould permit an early reconciliation with Great Britain. Most, however, weretrying to find the middle ground. The attitudes of the delegates in Congress inactuality reflected the sentiments of the people. At first, most Americasbelieved they were fighting not for independence but for a redress ofgrievances. After the first year of the war, many began to change their mindsand soon it became the war for independence.Itwasn't until, 1776, when a pamphlet appeared that stimulated the rapid growingsupport for complete sovereignty. Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense andproved to be a brilliant success as a revolutionary propagandist. His pamphlethelped change the American view toward the war. Paine stressed that it would bea folly to think that America would be able to reconcile with Great Britain. Hewanted to shift the Americans' anger from the regulations that the Parliamentimposed to the source of the problem-the English Constitution. He believed thatit was the king, and the system that permitted him to rule, was to blame. Itwas, he argued, simple common sense for Americans to break away from agovernment that was tainted by a corrupted monarch, a government that inflictedsuch brutality on its own people, a government that could provoke Americansinto wars in which they had no interest.Inthe midst of all this commotion, the Continental Congress was moving toward afinal break with England. It appointed a committee to draft a formaldeclaration of independence. On July 4, Congress approved of the Declaration ofIndependence, which essentially expressed the beliefs already widespread inAmerica. In particular, it expressed ideas that had been voiced throughout thecolonies in the form of at least 90 other, local "declarations ofindependence". The official document borrowed heavily from these texts tocreate the Declaration of Independence, which represented the...

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