By now, most Americans have read Thomas Paine’s, Common Sense. This document has been heralded as the most influential piece of political writing in the last century. Paine is even being reffered to as the “Father of the Revolution!”
When Paine anonymously published the pamphlet in 1776, he had no idea it would go so far. He merely wanted the Americans to know why they were fighting, and why they had to break off from England. He didn’t expect it to go so far as to inspire a revoultion in the minds of thousands of colonists.
Paine stated that the English constution has three problems: it is outdated, too complex, and far too structurally flawed. He said that government was necessary for structure and security, but one as complex as the English’s was was not needed. It makes no sense for control of an entire country to be inherited by birth. What if the next in line was a complete dud? According to the English, God chose who would be the next king. If so, why would someone with a God-given gift need to be checked by the commoners? And even when the commoners have something to say, the crown never listens, which led to a faulty system of checks and balances.
Many colonists were inspired by Paine’s words about England’s government. They realized that it was incredibly flawed, and they no longer wanted to live under a country with so much confusion and so many problems.
He said people who had never had their property destroyed, house burnt down, food stolen, or their loved ones killed by the redcoats were in no position to judge those who had. And people who did have those things done to them and still wanted to reconcile with England were cowards with no hearts. They deserved no respect from anyone, and should be stripped of their titles such as husband, father, and friend.
Those statements made many loyalists reconsider their stance. Paine was right. Why should they put up with the English ruining everything they had, everything they had worked for their entire lives?
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense did not start the American Revolution, but it sure did make many Americans dream of a country independent from England.