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Common Sense Essay

2056 words - 9 pages

Dear Cousin,

I am ecstatic to hear that you will be attending the 2nd Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia. I hope that this letter will inspire and assist you in making a persuasive argument towards independence. As we both know, the west wind blows upon us, creating a storm of change and new found enlightenment. Fate has led me to the tavern I currently own here in Massachusetts. To be honest it is quite serendipitous the way my tavern came to be. Benjamin Franklin, the same man who had recommended Thomas Paine to come to America, was the same man who had motivated me to open new business. My inn has blossomed since the public printing of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense. ...view middle of the document...

Working together to sustain a living and maintaining what we as humans freely desire to achieve, is the role of society. “Government is but a necessary evil” (Paine, 65). The bittersweet institution plays the role of an officer when its’ true nature is that of security. The idea of Government is to make sure that society is safe and in accordance with the “laws of nature” (John Locke: Second Treaties of Government (1689) Doc #14). Britain has weakened its protective agenda for the colonies, and instead begun using our labor and natural resources as an economic boost. Even though this is justifiable for their needs; the English have become blind to the growing colonial force that is searching for expansion and recognition beyond Britain’s empire. By having an oppressive government such as a monarchy, and subjects who continue to support the tyranny of the monarchy, allows in an essence the support of their own oppression (Paine, 65). Britain is America’s oppressor, and by allowing them to impose the Intolerable Acts upon the colonies, is an exact example of us supporting Britain and allowing for them to oppress us. Since we already have begun rebelling against Britain we have taken a step forward in the direction of independence. In doing so we are showing Britain that we are no longer willing to work underneath the crown. It is time for us to break free and make a name for ourselves.

Opposing the idea of independence is John Dickinson. He has put a notion in people’s head that as soon as we break free of Britain’s rule we will become a “licentious anarchy” (John Dickinson, A Speech Against Independence (1776)). He insists on proclaiming that a monarchy that works alongside parliament to oversee society is the best way to maintain people’s happiness. But there is strong disagreement here. Paine describes an example of a group of people isolated from others and trying to maintain a sense of life. “ In this state of natural liberty, society will be there first thought…necessity, like a gravitating power would soon, would soon form our newly arrived emigrants into society…But as the colony increases so will the public concern…here then is the origin and rise of government” (Paine, 67-8). People will always search for order to protect their assets.

As Paine points out “man is originally in a state of equality” (Paine, 71), and that no man or king for that matter is above any other man in this world. With this philosophical thought we can wonder whether or not praising a king as though they were God is ethical? Paine uses many biblical references to explain and prove that being subjects to a monarchy in general is sinful. He alludes to the Jewish people who as a form of gratitude toward Gideon, the man who saved them during a war, chose him to be their king. As a result God rid the Jewish people of their King Gideon and warned them to never name and follow a man they almost considered as God (Paine,...

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