Monday, October 12, 2009

Common Sense - Thomas Paine

For part of this assignment we were supposed to write about the discussion we had in class but i was not in class that day due to a journalism trip.
Thomas Paine was the writer of this piece and his ideas are embedded into it. Paine believed in American independence and believe that America did not need Britain's help. In "Common Sense" Paine challenges the British Government. Paine also expresses his opinions about how government is made. Paine uses a different type of writing to gather the attention of his readers. For instance Paine says "Time makes more converts than reason." By this Paine is saying that in order to have the Americans change their opinion on America's independence we should not try and force the idea on them but let time go by and let them see for themselves that Britain's way of government is the wrong way. Paine also believes that if you took a group and put them on an island without any means of government, and form of government would come to be and the group on the island would survive because of that government. Saying this interesting example of a group on an island also leds to the next interesting idea that Paine uses:
"MANKIND being originally equals in the order of creation, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstance: the distinctions of rich and poor may in a great measure be accounted for, and that without having recourse to the harsh ill-sounding names of oppression and avarice. Oppression is often the CONSEQUENCE, but seldom or never the MEANS of riches; and tho' avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy"
This is saying that all humans, whether rich or poor, skin color and religion, are equal and the British system ruins that idea. He says that "and tho' avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy." this means that a man works in order to keep himself and his family alive but this does not make him rich. There are classes and statuses in the British government and there shouldn't be one in the new American system.
I believe that Thomas Paine was extremely smart and had a perfect view on the American Independence and I believe that without this writing it would have taken America twice as long to gain their independence from Britain.