The Impact of Common Sense by Thomas Paine on Declaration of Independence

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Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet was one of the most influential factors that made people and colonists want American Independence. He speaks for the common people, which is why he was liked. In the beginning of his pamphlet, he speaks about religion and government, and then later on talks about how bad the current situation is with the colonies. Paine speaks about the difference between what a society and government really is. According to Paine, every single man or women is born equal. He also talks about that there should be absolutely no reason for there to be division between a king and his subject, as a king is merely born into that role. Paine is strongly against Kings and hereditary monarchical power. Most importantly, Paine is against what a monarchy is and uses this in his argument to persuade people to leave the rule of England.

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Firstly, Paine argues that a society is good, but a government is a “necessary evil” (Paine 23) He says that the Constitution Of England is an outdated document because it cannot deliver the rights it promises. Paine says that the English Monarchy does not represent the people, nor the voice of the people. It only represents the representatives. Paine says this creates “a house divided against itself” (Paine 73-74) Paine is going against the status quo by wanting independence: “The ideas I present here are so new that many people will reject them” (17-18) He wants people to clear their head and try to just listen to what he is saying. To try to accomplish this, he uses a more personal example to connect with the people: “Just as you would cut ties with abusive parents, you must break from Britain” (53-54) Paine simply wants to put an end to this unruly monarchy.

As for the rhetoric in Common Sense, I did some research on Thomas Paine. He said that: “Some people can be reasoned into sense, and others must be shocked into it.” This is a very interesting approach, as people could either like him or dislike him. Remember, he is challenging not only the Monarchy of England, but also the people. Throughout the Pamphlet, Paine uses a very sarcastic and informal voice. He does this to make sure the reader understands how bad the problem is, and to take action against it. There are also quite a few metaphors throughout the pamphlet. For example, the parent-child relationship when he compares Britain to America. Quite simply, Paine just wants people to understand that everything he is saying is just common sense!

Overall, Thomas Paine did a great job going through with this pamphlet. It was very effective, and was a best seller at the time. Thomas Jefferson even used it as a template to write the Declaration of Independence. The reason it was so effective was because he spoke to the common people. Paine risked his life publishing this Pamphlet, and for a good reason. Without him, our country would not be the same today.    

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