Common Sense and Related Writings is a masterpiece written by Thomas Paine, a scientist, inventor (of Iron Bridge), a philosopher, and a propagandist. As a writer, Paine is important in that, his writings stirred many people in the United States of America to rise up and fight for their freedom. Paine says, “Tis time to part” (73).
People went to war for Paine convinced them that, “the sun never shined on a cause of a greater worth” (Paine 86). Paine talks of government as a necessary evil, emphasizes on state of nature, underlines the inevitability of American independence and British oppression, highlights the problems of monarchy, and finally sheds some light on America’s relationship with the rest of Europe.
According to Paine’s world, government is a necessary evil other wise people would live without it. The function of government is to “restrain our voices” (Paine 66). Paine believers that presence of government is justified by the fact that it relives problems that would arise if people lived without it. On the issue of state of nature, Paine considers a natural state of man without influence of society; a state where all men are “originally equals” (Paine 70).
Paine saw independence of America coming and nothing could stop it. Actually, to him this was a simple fact that each person should accept. He says, “Until 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… wishes it over, and is continually haunted with the thoughts of its necessity” (86). This emphasizes how America’s independence was inevitable.
Paine also saw the inevitability of British oppression and he says, “From Britain, we can expect nothing but ruin. If she is admitted to the government of America again, this continent will not be worth living in” (Paine 109). Paine also understands the importance of America’s relationships with other European countries and he suggests that, “it is advantageous for America to form commercial and political ties with these nations…” (Paine 116). On monarchy, Paine urges that it is wrong and men were created equal and the elite are “ignorant and unfit” (Paine 136).
In Common Sense and Related Writings, Paine knew exactly what he was saying. His calling for people to raise and fight for freedom could not come at a better time than this. By criticizing the British colonial rule, Paine brought awareness to the people of America on the importance of freedom. The author’s thesis is very effective.
The truth is, America needed freedom, and there was massive oppression from the British colonial rule with high unfair taxes. After Americans’ rejected these taxes, the colonial rule re-established them and nothing good would really come from British colonial rule.
On the other hand, Monarchy is evil according to Paine and even the biblical origin of the same is inappropriate. The succession trend that the British exercised was illegitimate and Paine holds that the first king should have come to power, “either by lot, by election, or by usurpation” (Paine 137).
True to Paine’s words, the British colonial leadership was ineffective because it was out to intimidate and exploit Americans. Finally, America’s relationship with the rest of European countries was and still is essential. It is through good relationships with other countries that the United States of America has become the super power in this world. Therefore, author’s thesis is very effective and it proves Paine true in his arguments.
Paine, Thomas. “Common Sense and Related Writings.” Slaughter, Thomas. (Ed).
Bedford: St. Martins, 2001.