gov paper part deux_Essay - Tom Paines notion of the people...

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Tom Paine’s notion of “the people” refers to the equal Americans who come together to form the law, which holds a generally optimistic, egalitarian viewpoint. Tom Paine sees mankind as being created equal. He does not believe that a human being is born with a natural god given status, but that we all begin on the same plane. Thus he claims, “Mankind being originally equals in order of creation, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstance…” (135). It should follow then that without some external force fictitiously creating a human divide, that man could live in harmony. But Paine makes an important assertion about mankind negating the possibility of harmony without something he calls “a necessary evil.” Paine believes mankind has an impulse to be wicked, or at least immoral. Thus because mankind can not function without something to harness these impurities, government must be introduced to do so. Unfortunately government, according to Paine, is evil in that one must give up…”a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest…” (132). Thus in deciding between having a society of ungoverned, immoral people or a society in which those people give up individual rights for the common good, the latter is the lesser of two evils. In that form of government Paine outlines a democratic government in which each colony is divided into districts that send a number of delegates to Congress. Then out of each Province or colony, a president is chosen by Congress through ballot. The thirteen people chosen will serve as President, rotating who is in power. This notion of rotation is to keep true that all men are equal, and that no man should ever feel he is truly the leader of the country. For as Paine says, “Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS
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This essay was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course GOVT 3665 taught by Professor Kramnick, i during the Fall '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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gov paper part deux_Essay - Tom Paines notion of the people...

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