Thomas Paine Thesis

679 Words3 Pages

Risam Johnson
Meg Funk
English 3
How Paine Fueled the Revolutionary War
“I know not,” John Adams wrote […], “whether any man in the world has had more influence on its inhabitants or affairs […] than Thomas Paine” (“Thomas”). Born and raised in England, Thomas Paine struggled to maintain an occupation in the local Monarchist culture. Then, choosing to forge his own path in the New World, he took the step of his life in 1774 and set sail for Philadelphia. Once in the “City of brotherly love”, he set about promoting his ideas of democracy and of the importance of reason, and, two years later (1776), Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet that would put him in the spotlight: Common Sense (Belchem). Thomas Paine's Common Sense would lead the way …show more content…

In the text, Paine’s thesis states that “there is something absurd, in supposing a Continent to be perpetually governed by an island” (“Common”). The idea that a small island nation could rule a continent was irrational, and gave great weight to what Paine had to say. The pamphlet soon saturated the colonies, selling over 150,000 copies (“Thomas”). Each reproduction contained the well-constructed argument, an idea of independence and of the right to self-govern, and each acted as a “call to arms” for the American people (“Common”). The first to coin the phrase ‘The United States’ (Adam), Paine saw freedom as a fugitive from civilization, and thus desired to create a refuge for liberty and “to prepare in time, an asylum for mankind” (“Common”). This meant that Paine saw liberty as something absent in the culture of previous civilizations. Paine’s Common Sense pleaded with the people of America to allow freedom back into the culture and to break off from what he saw as the tyranny of civilization, or the lack of freedom in …show more content…

Though Thomas Paine was not well liked by all in his adopted country, his words fueled the revolution, convincing a majority of the uncertain colonists as to the best course of action (“Common”). The colonies were not uncertain for nothing, for it was no small task to rebel against England, one of the world’s greatest powers at the time. In spite of this fact, Common Sense laid out a logical argument against the holds of colonialism and inspired the colonists in the New World to revolution. A foundation for Paine’s future writings, Common Sense and these later works, most notably the American Crisis pamphlet, boosted the morale of the patriots during the heat of the Revolutionary War (Adam).
The highest crowned achievement of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was the war which led to the foundation of a free country, the United States of America. Thomas Paine’s childhood and early adult years in England helped form his perspective which was expressed in Common Sense. The short document had a deep impact and spurred America to the revolution that changed the world. Foundational for some of America’s most famous and influential literature during the 18th century, Common Sense and its radical author have earned their place in the history

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