4essays by thomas paine

Paine's move to America resulted from a London meeting with Benjamin Franklin, who provided letters of introduction. Paine arrived in Philadelphia in November 1774 and began writing for the Pennsylvania Magazine, of which he became editor for 6 months. His contributions included an attack on slavery and the slave trade. His literary eloquence received recognition with the appearance of his 79-page pamphlet titled Common Sense (1776). Here was a powerful exhortation for immediate independence. Americans had been quarreling with Parliament; Paine now redirected their case toward monarchy and to George III himself—a "hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh." The pamphlet revealed Paine's facility as a phrasemaker—"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth"; "Oh ye that love mankind … that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant, stand forth!"—but it was also buttressed by striking diplomatic, commercial, and political arguments from separation from Britain.

Later scholars have assessed Common Sense's influence in several ways. Some, like A. Owen Aldridge, emphasize that Common Sense could hardly be said to embody a particular ideology, and that "even Paine himself may not have been cognizant of the ultimate source of many of his concepts", making the point that much of the pamphlet's value came as a result of the context in which it was published. [29] Eric Foner wrote that the pamphlet touched a radical populace at the height of their radicalism, which culminated in Pennsylvania with a new constitution aligned along Paine's principles. [30] Many have noted that Paine's skills were chiefly in persuasion and propaganda, and that no matter the content of his ideas, the fervor of his conviction and the various tools he employed on his readers (. asserting his Christianity when he in fact was a Deist), that Common Sense was bound for success. [31] Still others emphasized the uniqueness of Paine's vision, with Craig Nelson calling him a "pragmatic utopian", who deemphasized economic arguments in favor of moralistic ones, thus giving credence to the Common Sense -as-propaganda argument. [32]

4essays by thomas paine

4 essays by thomas paine

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