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American Literature 17th-19th Century - Essay Example

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In this philosophical argument, Paine elaborates on the fallacies of the King’s cruel regime. In this particular work of his, Paine is very…
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American Literature 17th-19th Century
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Thomas Paine was one of the most prominent individuals who was a catalyst for Americans to fight for liberty against the British Rule. In this philosophical argument, Paine elaborates on the fallacies of the King’s cruel regime. In this particular work of his, Paine is very keen to compare the liberation movement of France from the colonies. In this particular work, he refutes Edmond Burke’s idea, who supported American independence movement but not the French revolution. Hence, Paine’s aim was to elaborate upon the concepts and components of grievances that induced individuals to rebel against their leaders. Tom Paine’s in his literary work the “Rights of Man” described King George as a “royal brute.” In the first part of the book, Paine attacks the whole essence of monarchy. Unlike his colleague Burke, Paine insists that each society has the privilege to establish a solid foundation of their own government without the consistent oppression of a monarch. Paine attacks King George III from all angles as he considers King George to be an “unfit leader” in many aspects. First and foremost is the fact that he used the colonist’s tax money to fund his poor decisions as a King but also to pay for his son’s misfortunes. Paine elaborately describes this dilemma as he states, “The burden of the national debt consists not in its being so many millions, or so many hundred millions, but in the quantity of taxes collected every year to pay the interest. If this quantity continue the same, the burden of the national debt is the same to all intents and purposes, be the capital more or less” (Paine, 20). Clearly, he is irate at the fact that the colonists have to atone for the burden for the King’s self-pursuit interests. According to his perspective, the King wanted to "keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse” (Paine, 24). Paine’s point of emphasis continues to be the fact that government is for the living and not for the dead. Heredity power should be acquired through the choice of the people and is not heredity. Paine was one of the most prominent philosophers that dominated the philosophy scene in his era. One cannot ignore the fact that Paine was writing during an era where warfare plagued society. Clearly, Paine wanted to establish the fact the notion of commonwealth in this statement. In commonwealth, the notion a covenant is established. A covenant in essence is a contract agreement that both people are obligated to follow as he states, “Man is not the enemy of man but through the medium of a false system of government” (Paine, 32). Here, he intricately tries to convey his message that when men acquire power, they have the tendency to abuse it. Moreover, Paine insists that the true nature of men is to fight and be engaged in warfare for various reasons. Prior to this statement, Paine insists that there is no justice in the status of nature. Society tends to break covenants for the sake of their own security, which leads to constant warfare over measly issues. Due to this self-interest that drives mankind, humanity is engaged in continuous conflict and war. Furthermore, Paine explains that in a natural state of war, men will continue to do whatever it takes to preserve their own existence. Paine was one of the most prominent philosophers that dominated the philosophy scene in his era. One cannot ignore the fact that Paine was writing during an era where warfare plagued society. Paine is trying to identify the logic behind oppression of men under a tyrant rule as he states, “The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it” (Paine, 28). Clearly, Paine wanted to establish the fact the notion of commonwealth in this statement. In commonwealth, the notion a covenant is established. A covenant in essence is a contract agreement that both people are obligated to follow. Since Paine argues that every human being is entitled to their rights, the fool can do whatever it means necessary to seek his self-preservation. The only force that deters individuals from doing this is known as Laws of Nature. The Law of Nature is a general rule that bans individuals to be engaged in any acts that will be chaotic and lead to self-destructive. On the later part of the novel, Pain’s emphasis shifts to American Revolution and the new government of democracy that must prevail over a monarchy. Paine again emphasizes the fact that monarchies cultivate inefficiency in a society and leads to chaos. He explains that the elected representatives that are chosen by the people will continue to foster a healthy environment of a working government.
Clearly Paine’s dedication to serve as a motivator and serve as an aspiration for the young colonists was critical towards liberating from the rule of King George III. He reflects this as he states, “May this great monument raised to Liberty, serve as a lesson to the oppressor, and an example to the oppressed!" (Paine, 40). It is evident that Paine’s work of the Rights of the Man along with his other work The Common Sense was influential as it facilitated for the colonists in their cry towards freedom and liberty. Clearly, Paine was influenced by John Locke, the famous historian, was a key figure who influenced the American leaders to adopt to the “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. “His theory of social contract was also one of the vital forces that encouraged the leaders to rebel against the government, whose natural responsibility is to protect and serve its people. Since King George III disregarded the needs of the colonies, it only made sense to initiate a republic revolution to break away from a tyrant regime. Undoubtedly, Paine’s work continues to serve as the embodiment of America’s quest towards liberation.
Works Cited
Paine, Thomas. The rights of man. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, 199. Print.
Stefoff, Rebecca. The colonies. New York: Benchmark Books, 2001. Print.
Quarterly, inc. The concise encyclopedia of democracy. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2000. Print. Read More
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