Thomas Paine's The American Revolution

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The American Revolution was so much more than just a war, or a time in history. It was a time where America grew, and as the name suggests, revolutionized their way of thinking and governing. It was a time for some great thinkers to get their ideas out there, and these ideas helped shape America into what it is today. These revolutionary thinkers shared their ideas publicly, and that gave the people ways to revolutionize their thoughts as well. They flipped what they knew about government upside down. They turned against the ways of monarchy, realizing that all men should be equal and should not be under a tyrannical king any longer. While this revolution was extremely powerful, it was also a trial and error effort. The Patriots tried many Thomas Paine anonymously wrote “Common Sense”, a pamphlet discussing the ideas of independence from Britain. This helped the colonists put their frustrations with their government into words. Paine wrote it so simply that anyone could understand his ideas, and it was quite persuasive. He says, “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth.” (Baym 326) Essentially, Thomas Paine explains how independence from the monarchy would be a really wonderful thing, and he ultimately explains that this independence is inevitable. He talks about how Britain is the parent of America. He compares America to a child growing independent of its parents. Although at one point, America was “flourish[ing] under her former connection with Great Britain”, he says that now it is time for America to grow independent. He uses the example of a child who has been raised on milk never moving on to eating meat. Although the child grew a lot on milk, that doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t continue to grow by eating meat, by gaining more independence. (Baym 326) And he says that while Britain is their parent country, parents shouldn’t “devour their young,” or “make war upon their families.” (Baym 327) He’s using this extended parent example to show that America really doesn’t need a parent country anymore. This idea of total independence from Britain put a lot in perspective for Americans at the time. They became empowered and confident in this idea of Now, able to express their grievances and frustrations, the Colonies were able to essentially “stick it to the man” against Britain. Thomas Jefferson writes how Great Britain’s king had “impos[ed] taxes on [them] without [their] consent,” and “depriv[ed] [them] of the benefits of trial by jury.“ He goes on to say that the king had abolish[ed] [their] most valuable laws; and alter[ed] fundamentally the forms of [their] governments.” (Baym 342) This list of complaints goes on and on. The king took away all of their fundamental rights, and the colonists were fed up. Thomas Jefferson says that he didn’t just take away their rights, but he took away their basic human rights, and “waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him.” (Baym 343) These are very strong words from Thomas Jefferson, but they reflect the way these colonists felt. They were angry, and they had every right to

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how thomas paine anonymously wrote "common sense", a pamphlet discussing the ideas of independence from britain, which helped the colonists put their frustrations with their government into words.
  • Analyzes how the "federalist papers" were written to convince the people that a new constitution would be beneficial.
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