Thomas Paine was born in Britain, on January 29, 1737. Paine’s formal education lasted only until the age of thirteen since after that he began working for his father. In Common Sense, Thomas Paine is setting forth his arguments in favor of American independence. His main argument is about government, religion and on specifics of the colonial situation. The main point that Thomas Paine make is that colonies should declare independence; independence is preferable to reconciliation because it is simpler and independence is the only bond that can keep the colonies together.
Paine is letting know about his religious toleration and that he believes in God. Paine says that the colonies have little to gain from remaining attached to Britain. Commerce can be better conducted with the rest of Europe, but only after America becomes independent. Paine also asserts that if the colonies remain attached to Britain, the same problems that have arisen in the past will arise in the future. Paine argues that it is necessary to seek independence now, as to do otherwise would only briefly cover up problems that will surely reemerge.
Also, Paine discusses how people will be much happier if they are responsible for the creation of the laws that rule them. The British government system is to complex and rife with contradictions, and that the monarchy is granted far too much power. The British system pretends to offer a reasonable system of checks and balances, but in fact, it does not. Common Sense was crucial in turning American opinion against Britain and was one of the key factors in the colonies’ decision to engage in a battle for complete independence. Paine presents government as an institution whose sole function is to restrain the evil in man.
Furthermore, he presents society as the force that “promotes our happiness positively”. Government, then, is conceived of as simply a preventative force, while any positive or creative acts are up to society. Many Western democratic governments’ appropriate large sums of money toward positive projects that are intended to improve public life, and it is worth considering whether Paine would have objected to the modern state in which government “promotes our happiness…” The argument could also be made that, given the affection Paine expresses for society; he might be very fond of modern governments.
After all, Paine lauds society because of what it accomplishes, and if a government could accomplish the same thing, Paine’s view of government might change. Paine most of the time compared government with bible and it shaped opinions on most matters. It was not uncommon to believe that kings ruled by divine right, and for this reason, many were hesitant to revolt against a King. If the king’s power was genuinely divine, a revolt against the king was akin to a revolt against God.
Paine tries to undercut this line of thinking by attacking it on its own terms, and presenting Biblical passages that reject the idea of a divinely appointed monarchy. In this case, Paine presents an arsenal of Biblical evidence to show that monarchy is neither a natural nor a preferable institution. He had his arguments in pictures and metaphors. Paine is arguing that political arrangements that have been successful for America in the past will not necessarily be successful in the future, and he makes this point more convincing by presenting it as a concrete example, rather than a theoretical abstraction.
The governmental structure that Paine proposes is interesting for the relative power it appropriates to the colonies. Paine says that each colony should be divided into districts, each of which ought to send delegates to Congress. The president will be chosen from one specific colony, and in the next election, a different colony will be chosen. In Conclusion to this book, I think it’s a very interesting book with deep thoughts and I like the way Paine connects government way of ruling with a Bible and religion. o country will be able to mediate the dispute between America and Britain as long as America is seen as a part of Britain; neither France nor Spain will help the colonies if they think that their help will be used by the colonists to repair relations with Britain; other countries see the colonies as rebels if they are still part of Britain; and by declaring independence, the colonies could begin to reap the benefits of international alliances and trade.
Paine explains that America’s small size makes the colonies fairly cohesive. If there were more American colonies, they would be less united and, hence, less willing to band together to fight for independence. Paine also says that if the colonies seek their independence now, they will be able to appropriate the rest of the land on the continent for their own use. If they wait, the king will only seize control of more land, handing it to the British elite.