Thomas Paine is able to use Common Sense to gain support for the independence of American colonies through his attack on the incept of a monarchy, his ability to address and eliminate the colonists’ counter arguments, and his reasoning on why the colonies need to break away as soon as possible. Thomas Paine begins Common Sense with an attack on the monarchy system and the British monarchy in specific.
Paine addresses the concept that governments exist to moderate a population, and, therefore governments should reflect the beliefs of the citizens in that population. In the case off Monarchy, kings have the absolute power to make executive decisions, without input or reflection from he same population to which those decisions apply. As a result, kings are able to make decisions that are unjust in the eyes of the population without personal consequence.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Paine puts this in perspective by referencing the kings found in scripture: “Monarchy is ranked in scripture as one of the sins of the Jews, for which a curse in reserve is denounced against them. The history of that transaction is worth attending to. ” (Paine section 2) Paine uses this biblical reference to establish a parallel between God’s absolute power and the British King’s absolute power that is irrupt. Paine goes on to condemn the British monarchy specifically as their kings are selected hereditary.
Paine remarks a hereditary line has proven to produce kings that are unjust and corrupt as they are simply given that throne with no accountability from the people. Paine attacks a monarchy on multiple levels to provide the American people with concrete evidence that monarchy is not a Just government to live under. Paine furthers his persuasion for an Independent America by addressing the prominent counter arguments in a practical and logical manner. Paine begins by addressing the argument that the American colonies have thrived under British control.
He immediately puts forth a parallel situation: “We may as well assert, that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat; or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty. ” (Section 3) Paine thoroughly establishes the parallel that while the British may have started and nourished the colonies, the colonies can only reach their greatest potential by becoming an independent nation. Paine is able to continue this parallel to address the counter argument that the British have protected America.
Again, Paine shoots this argument down as recognizes that the British have protected the colonies for their own economic gain, and in doing so the British are actually limiting the colonies. For example, if the colonies were to break away they would be able to trade with all nations. Finally, amongst other arguments, Paine addresses the argument that many of the colonists are connected through their heritage to Britain. Once again, Paine reminds colonists that many citizens escaped European oppression and are actually connected by the freedom found in the colonies.
Paine is able to address and resolve many prominent arguments against independence through his “common sense” approach. Pain’s last major point addresses the need to fight for independence immediately. Paine points out to the colonists that “until an independence is declared, the continent will feel itself like a man who continues putting off some unpleasant business from day to day, yet knows it must be done, dates to set about it, wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity. (Section 4) Paine attempts to give the colonists the picture that they will need to take action sooner or later as the colonies will not be able to remain under the control of the British and be successful. Paine uses this concept to complete the picture that the colonies need to do something and now is the best time. At this time in 1776, the colonies still have control off large amount of resources that are able to fuel an army and even develop a navy. At the same time, the colonies have a significant amount of militias.
Paine points out that if the colonies continues to put aside their independence the British will become more involved in taking the colonies resources, in addition to insuring that the colonies are not able to produce significant militias to organize a revolution. Paine, then, explains the concept that small developing countries, like the colonies current state, have the most patriotism. He explains that if the colonies wait to rebel, they will become more plopped in business and commerce and lose the patriotism that is required to fuel a rebellion.
Finally, Paine acknowledges that in the current state of world affairs, the colonies are extremely likely to gain the support of the French as they are still looking for revenge after the French and Indian War. By analyzing the current state of the colonies and their current opportunities Paine is able to reason with colonists and gain support for a revolution. As Paine begins to wrap up common sense, he addresses briefly addresses the Quaker argument for peace, instead of war with the British.
Paine quickly embarrasses the Quaker argument by claiming that all the colonists want peace and that peace will be best obtained through war and asking his fellow colonists to disregard the foolish Quakers. Overall, Paine uses practical reasoning to condemn the British monarchy, resolve the prevalent counter arguments to American independence, and explain why the colonists need fight for their independence now oppose to later on. Thomas Pain’s Common Sense works as a notable pamphlet to persuade the minds of the colonists to gain their independence from Britain.