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Thomas Paine: Common Sense and the Case for American Independence

1. Introduction

Thomas Paine was an English-American political philosopher and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He is best known for his pamphlet Common Sense, published in 1776, which advocated for American independence from the British Empire. In this essay, we will examine Paine’s Common Sense and related writings in order to get a better understanding of his thoughts on democracy, monarchy, and the Bible.

2. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense

2.1. The Case for Independence

In Common Sense, Paine makes the case for American independence from the British Empire. He argues that the colonies have no real connection to Britain and that they would be better off as an independent nation. He also criticizes the British government and monarchy, arguing that they are corrupt and tyrannical. Paine’s arguments were very influential in convincing people to support the American Revolution.

2. 2. The Case Against the Bible

In addition to advocating for American independence, Paine also wrote against the Bible in his tract, The Age of Reason. In this work, he criticizes the Bible for its contradictions and lack of evidence. He argues that it is not a reliable source of knowledge and should not be used to guide people’s lives. Paine’s criticisms of the Bible were very controversial at the time and sparked a lot of debate.

3. Conclusion

In conclusion, Thomas Paine was a very influential political thinker who had some controversial ideas. His pamphlet Common Sense was instrumental in convincing people to support the American Revolution. His criticisms of the Bible in The Age of Reason were also very significant, sparking a lot of debate about the role of religion in society.

FAQ

"Common Sense" contributed to the American Revolution by helping to rally public opinion in favor of independence from Britain.

Some of the key ideas in "Common Sense" were that government should be based on reason and common sense, not tradition; that people have natural rights including life, liberty, and property; and that society should be organized around voluntary associations rather than coercion.

Thomas Paine's views on government differed from those of other Founding Fathers in that he believed that government should be more responsive to the will of the people and less concerned with protecting property rights.

The impact of "Common Sense" on subsequent political thought in America was significant, as it helped to legitimize republicanism as a viable form of government.

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