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Common Sense Primary Source Critique

In: Historical Events

Submitted By timmybergman86
Words 890
Pages 4
Primary Source Critique: Jacobs, Harriet Ann (“Linda Brent”), Common Sense
Due: November 10, 2013

Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, is a pamphlet that was written in 1775-76. Paine’s purpose for this writing was to be an encouragement to the general people of the thirteen colonies to seek declaration of their independence from Great Britain. Paine’s desire to connect with the common people is evident in his plain and easy to understand writing style; he wrote in an educated, but straight-forward manner. Dubbed a “political quack” by Loyalist, James Chalmers of Maryland in the Plain Truth (New), and accused of producing a “crapulous mass” by none other than John Adams, we see just two examples of the many attacks on Paine, who prevailed to claim such titles as, The Father of the American Revolution (“Thomas Paine's Achievements”). According to history.org, some scholars say that by the end of 1776 at least half of American colonists had read or been aware of the arguments that Paine presented in Common Sense (“Primary Source of the Month”). Because Paine’s belief in the importance of “the Doctrine Itself, not the Man,” he wished for the publication to remain anonymous for as long as possible to keep a focus on the ideas presented instead of him (Paine, n.pag.). Being so widely popular and rumored, Paine’s name appeared on the second edition.
In the Introduction, Paine does exactly that, he introduces a basic overview of his grounds for the right to question “a long and violent abuse of power” (Paine, n.pag.), which he details in four main sections.
In Section I, Of the Origin and Design of Government in general, with concise Remarks on the English Constitution, he describes government as a “necessary evil” (Paine, n.pag.), and discusses the relationship between government and society, and talks of a “state of natural liberty” (Paine, n.pag.) by painting a...

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