Treason In The Eye Of The Beholder

1462 words - 6 pages

There is a fine line between treason and revolution, however when the two come up it very likely that the individual that is being of accused of either can go from one or the other in the blink of an eye. During the late 1700’s America was going through some of the most difficult times of its history. The struggle with Britain was becoming harder and those within the colonies were unsure what direction they wanted to take the colonies. Thomas Paine however knew exactly what direction he felt the colonies should go and that was to break away from Britain and become an independent nation from Britain all together. There was a crisis in America with no set rules or regulations to guide those that were living within its borders and Paine realized something had to be accomplished in order to keep the situation from getting out of control. Deifying the King of England was consider treason, but arming the American colonist with the knowledge that independence was the only way in which true freedom would ultimately could be achieved was a chance Paine was willing to take. Freedom and independence would come at a price, but the outcome would be the start of a new nation.

Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England to a Quaker family in 1737. It is very possible his own family understood even endured some of the same pressures and persecutions, which had caused many colonists to head to the America’s many years before. Paine was an apprentice in his father’s staymaker shop there in England. Paine continues in this business for a few years, but eventually works his way into a job as a person who handled taxes for the British government. Paine did not move to America until 1774, so during this time he would have read and heard about the French and Indian Wars, Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. Even though he was hearing this from a British citizen perspective, it is very possible this having an effect on the treatment of the colonist by the British government in general.
Upon Paine’s arrival in 1774 one can only imagine what his thoughts were as he saw the American colonies for the first time. He saw chaos and confusion and of course wanted to understand why those that were already pushing back against Britain were not doing more. Paine was already acquainted with many influential leaders of that day who would help establish the beginnings of our constitution. Men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Charles Peale. However, Paine wanted more than just break away. Paine stated. “Society was a positive phenomenon, government a negative one: Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness”. Paine was aware that the British government was attempting to crush the spirit of the colonies, nevertheless you realized that the colonies needed to form a government of its own to stand on their own in order to break away.
Thomas Paine was successful in what he penned down in Common Sense. In one of his...

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