Rousseau Vs Thomas Paine Essay

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Thomas Paine essentially wrote Common Sense for the common man. Being a pamphlet, its structure and simplicity made reading easy for those who were literate. Its minimalism enabled citizens in the colonies to unite under one common cause — independence against Britain. He was inspired by both John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government as well as Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s On the Social Contract. Each of the philosophies discussed the purpose of government as well as which government was the most ideal. For Paine, government, is “a punisher,” in which society is ruled by in order to protect the properties of one’s natural rights (Paine 3). However, he defends a representative democracy as being the ideal. Likewise, John Locke also argues that governments protect the rights of man. Similarly, to …show more content…

He justifies the need for democracy, aristocracy and monarchy depending on location. The three philosophers use their judgment and prior knowledge on each other’s work to validate an ideal society, especially for the uprising continent of America. Governments are an established institution in every society. Though there are multiple types of governments, their purpose is fundamental to determining the influence on a civilization. Thomas Paine opposes the ideology of government, stating that, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil,” (Paine 3). Essentially, the purpose of government is to protect people from preforming vices, and defend their natural right to Locke’s ideology of life, liberty and property. Without government, coercion would occur, and destroy one’s ability to express their natural rights. For America, Paine believes that the establishment of a strong fundamental government could allow for the cohesion of citizens to form a society respected by other nations

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