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Thomas Paine's Common Sense - Book Report/Review Example

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One person's writing can inspire many others. Throughout the course of history, a myriad of words have been written upon a myriad of pages of paper, all words that, once read, have left an impact on the reader. Some of these words are so great, and so inspiring that they can in fact shape the course of history…
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Thomas Paines Common Sense
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Extract of sample "Thomas Paine's Common Sense"

Download file to see previous pages Unrest that, until Paine so aptly laid the blame directly on George III, had no real enemy. Paine's publishing of Common Sense stirred the colonies to action, and helped ignite them in "first successful anti-colonial action in modern history".1 His words spoke to that generation, and arose outrage against the colonial government that had not been seen previous to the publishing of his works.
While the colonies were struggling with the question of whom exactly to blame for their problems, and what exactly to do about it, Paine decided he had the answers. The anti-colonial feelings were already there, no mistake should be made that Paine himself created that feeling. The anger was already there; just the colonies were not exactly sure what they were angry at yet. Paine gave them his answer that the entire problem spewed from one sole source, the current King of England, George III. The sticks and branches for the fire had been there for some time, it was Paine's fiery words that ignited the colonist to action.
Paine's writings also help give us a look into the feelings of the time. Paine was a "journalist and essayist, contributing articles on all subjects to The Pennsylvania Magazine"1, and a good candidate for historians to look at. He knew what was going on. Working at the newspaper, he has ideas, and also had a great way to transfer those ideas to a mass market. He gives us a look into the regular mans feelings of the time, and just how much unrest was abounding in the colonies. Perhaps at the frustration of the local government and how everyone else was trying to figure things out, Paine decided to take things into his own hands. And he did, and with those words started a Revolution.
Paine's document can be easily divided into four different sections, with each section addressing a different part of the problem. The first section is where Paine begins he rampant attack on the government as he sees it, and starts about what the people of America need to do to correct this. Paine begins to directly attack the English government, taking apart how the English government really is at the base nothing more than "the base remains of two ancient tyrannies, compounded with some new Republican materials"2. Paine also brings up the ideas that made their way into the American constitution, such as the idea of checks and balances, the idea of elected officials, and also the idea that "Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise"2.

Paine's fiery language starts off the document with a certain tone of rationalizes. For even with all his anger, Paine is careful to check it and keep it in balance, and keeps his cool as he whittles away at the unchallenged British monarchy. He sharpened his words, and chooses that which will hit home the hardest, but also knows how to keep his point from getting lost in the theatrics and fire of the writing.
Paine then moved gracefully into the next section of his fiery document. In this section, Paine aims his words directly at the idea of Kings and monarchs, and how ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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