Nov 14, 2020 in History

common sense

Common Sense

Common Sense is one of the most famous documents of the early American history. The pamphlet was initially anonymously published in 1776 in America just for a few months but quickly gained recognition and popularity among the colonists. The publication of the treatise was resumed only in 1791 now with the name of its author Thomas Paine and the simplicity in which Paine highlighted the issues to be resolved was fast picked up. The pamphlet had a major impact on the attitude of the colonists to the British crown, which suffice it is to say was far from positive, and became the most effective tool of anti-British propaganda in the fight of the American colonies for the separation from England and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the state.


One of the most important components that provided such amazing success of the pamphlet was the salutary neglect of the British rulers to the matters of the colonists and an outlined system of a new and unknown state structure promising unseen freedoms and opportunities. It was a representative parliamentary republic based on a universal suffrage, the activity of which had to be regulated by a fixed constitution designed by the Constitutional Assembly. The Constitution was additionally supposed to include a Bill of Rights common to all the citizens of a newly formed state. As the supreme law, the Constitution was to be respected and adhered to as enthusiastically as people honored the King in monarchical states by both elite and common people.

Paines open idea was to introduce the administration of the country in the framework of the law and subjugate it to the law instead of the monarchy. This, in turn, had to be developed and adopted by the delegates elected by all righteous people and on their behalf. All this was to ground strictly on the basis of broad and equal representation and is appealingly transparent in the pamphlet Common Sense. According to the author, America paved the way to freedom and became an example for all mankind, making it an impressive driving argument for those reading it. Thus, two major state legislative acts were to be adopted immediately on behalf of the residents of the colonies. They had to include the Declaration of Independence and the continental charter a fixed constitution.

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Thomas Paine provides strong arguments for the necessity to develop and approve a fixed law. The author of Common Sense anticipates the dangers that can threaten America without a common fixed legislation. The first danger, the absence of legal rule, is typical for every country in the period of unrest. True freedom and well-being of citizens directly depend on the organ that stands at the head of the country a legitimate, elected government, militaries, or the representatives of the disorganized rabble. For example, Thomas Paine notes that we ought to reflect, that there are three different ways by which an independency may hereafter be effected; and that one of those three, will one day or other, be the fate of America, viz. By the legal voice of the people in Congress; by a military power; or by a mob (Paine, 2016). This way he encourages Americans to adopt the constitution and create the government as soon as possible.

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According to the author, another real threat, the lack of the proper unifying law is also typical for America at that time. He is deeply concerned that the Continental Belt is too loosely buckled. And if something is not done in time, it will be too late to do any thing, and we shall fall into a state, in which, neither reconciliation nor independence will be practicable (Paine, 2016). Therefore, the author claims that colonies cannot struggle alone but must manifest a unified whole which is capable of everything. Otherwise, if delayed, the applications necessary may appear belated. The combination of individual colonies was a major problem and task of the continental constitution.

In conclusion, Common Sense is considered one of the most influential documents in the history of America. The pamphlet had a huge decisive impact on the future of the citizens of the country. It called for the separation from the British monarchy and the establishment of an independent state with its own legal government and law. The immediate goal of the author was to convince residents of individual colonies to adopt a joint continental Declaration of Independence. Besides, Thomas Paine stressed on the need of the adoption of the constitution as a guarantee of a prosperous country. The pamphlet definitely fulfilled a major role intended by the author. It literarily catapulted America to its independence, constitution and government.


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