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Common Sense by Thomas Paine

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A Adkisson

on 20 November 2014

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Transcript of Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Common Sense
by Thomas Paine

Constitutional Influences
Edgar Huntly
What comparisons did you make between
Common Sense
by Thomas Paine and
Edgar Huntly
by Charles Brockden Brown?

Background
Where are these found in the text, and which of these ideas in the text can also be found in the constitution?
Constitutional Quotes
"The Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;" (Article II, Section 1)
"The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature." (Article 1, Section 2)
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." (Article 2, Section 1)
"The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;" (Article 3, Section 2)
What is
Common Sense
?
Reasons behind it
pamphlet by Thomas Jefferson
written in 1776
suggests :
independence from Britain
becoming their own country
rights to their own government
standards for new government
Composed of four sections
Written as simple facts in the language of common people
Edgar Huntly/Common Sense
Both texts were published in the late 1700's
~Common Sense 1776
~Edgar Huntly 1799
*Americans were trying to secede from British rule in hopes of obtaining freedom
"We have it in our power to begin the world anew.... America shall make a stand, not for herself alone, but for the world" -Thomas Paine
"Give me liberty or give me death" -Patrick Henry
Edgar Huntly/ Common Sense
Both texts examine religious references
~Edgar Huntly also examines gender relations, frontier violence, and ethnic clashes
~Common Sense uses religion as another point for support to gain independence from Britain
"Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither they have fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster."
Edgar Huntly/ Common Sense
In both texts the authors sort of portrayed themselves in their writing.
~Like Edgar, the main character, Brown was a Quaker. He was also familiar with rebellions like the American Revolution, frontier violence, commerce and trade, and disputed land claims. Not only did Brown include himself in his writings but the character Waldergrave was actually based off his close friend Elihu Hubbard Smith who was a deist and an abolitionist who died prematurely.
~Before becoming a prominent pamphleteer, Paine worked as a corset maker, sailor, and school teacher. Having these experiences may have given Paine some insight into the minds of everyday Americans. Having been in their position, he can better relate to his audience allowing him to gain more support.

At the time Americans were being oppressed by British rule
Some colonists wanted separation, but were too fearful of Britain's response
Paine knew that independence was necessary, but colonists feared the unknown
Common Sense provided the necessary push toward freedom
Thesis
"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense: and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves that he will put on, or rather that he will not put off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day."
Part 1
Of the origin and design of government in general...
Of monarchy and hereditary sucession
Thoughts on the present state of American affairs
Of the present abilitly of America, with some miscellaneous reflexions. . . .
Part 2
Thank you!!

Discusses distinction between society and government.
"Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher."
Criticizes British government
"But the constitution of England is so exceedingly complex, that the nation may suffer for years together without being able to discover in which part the fault lies, some will say in one and some in another, and every political physician will advise a different medicine."
Origin of monarchy
"Male and female are the distinctions of nature, good and bad the distinctions of heaven; but how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, is worth enquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind."
Effects of monarchy
"In short, monarchy and succession have laid (not this or that kingdom only) but the world in blood and ashes. 'Tis a form of government which the word of God bears testimony against, and blood will attend it."
Describes why Americans fear change
"If there is any true cause of fear respecting independence it is because no plan is yet laid down. Men do not see their way out; wherefore, as an opening into that business I offer the following hints; at the same time modestly affirming, that I have no other opinion of them myself, than that they may be the means of giving rise to something better."
List suggestions for the new government
"THE LAW IS KING"
When and how America should go about separation
"Wherefore, the present time is the true time for establishing it."
"The present time, likewise, is that peculiar time, which never happens to a nation but once, viz., the time of forming itself into a government."
Part 2 discusses the how oppressive the acts of Parliament were, and the necessity of separation.
" But Britain is the parent country, say some. Then more the shame upon her conduct."
"Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation."
Full transcript