common sense essay

common sense essay - Rebecca Austin February 21, 2011...

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Rebecca Austin February 21, 2011 Common Sense Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is a pre-revolutionary pamphlet that effectively combined the emerging ideals of the Enlightenment with new political thoughts. He points out the corruption of monarchies, and emphasizes the benefits of a republic. Additionally, he believes that the correct route for the colonies is independence and discourages reconciliation with England. Through the increasing literacy of the population and developing independence of Enlightenment thought, Paine uses Common Sense to push colonial citizens towards the American Revolution. Paine believes that monarchy is a corrupt and ungodly form of government. Indeed, Paine says that there is a “distinction for which no truly natural or religious reason can be assigned, and that is, the distinction of men into kings and subjects” (8). There is no explanation for who is king and who is subject. Since “mankind [is] originally [equal] in the order of creation,” it is impossible to separate the rulers from the ruled (8). If everyone is born with equal rights, no one person has the right to rule over anyone else. Paine observes that monarchy did not always exist; it was formed originally by the Heathens and copied by Israel and others. He criticizes it as the “promotion of idolatry,” as the customs were to exalt and praise the kings, both dead and alive (9). Monarchies, therefore, have no justification in natural rights because they are a manmade existence, and likewise have no justification through scripture. Paine observes that “the will of the Almighty, as declared by Gideon and the prophet Samuel, expressly disapproves of government by kings” (9). This means that the divine right to the throne is a fallacy, and the king
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2011 for the course HIST 112 taught by Professor Popiel during the Spring '08 term at Saint Louis.

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common sense essay - Rebecca Austin February 21, 2011...

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