Thomas Paine “Commun Sense”
“Common Sense” Origins, Purpose, Values, Limitations
This paper gives credible information about Thomas Paine’s book known as “Common Sense” with the focus on its origin, purpose, limitations and values.
The book titled “Common Sense” that remains a highly valued work of Thomas Paine was written in the year 1775-1776. The origin of the book or what inspired its writing was the acute imbalance in governance imposed by the colonial masters. The Americans were being treated like third class citizens during the period as they were subjected to harsh colonial rule. The rule did not permit them to enjoy certain fundamental rights such as the right to good education, participation in governance and political affairs and the right to engage in social teams. Therefore, the book was meant to instill some sense in the minds of the Americans about the fight for liberation and immediate independence. Paine was concerned about the suffering that the Colonists were subjected to and were an advocator of social justice and fairness, he developed the thought of influencing change through the writing that he knew would present immense impact on the quest for independence.
The main purpose of the piece of writing titled “Common Sense” was to present strong arguments for the need for freedom and liberation from the British rule. This is evident as it was written at the time when there was a live debate on whether to seek independence or not. Therefore, the book was meant to inspire hope and drive towards the achievement of independence by creating a sense of need in the minds of the Americans. The other purpose was to provide the Americans with credible information about the advantages of independence and operating under a free rule. Paine presented the merits of the fight for independence and freedom in a simple and clear language to aid decision making on the matter. The piece of writing was also purposed to instill some sense into people about the natural or ideal relationship that should exist between the government and society. The message was to enable people to understand that the government should not be oppressive and irresponsive to citizen needs and that citizens have the power to change bad governance.
There are numerous reasons that depict the value of the article. The first value attributable to the article is that it facilitated the fight for liberty and independence after inspiring the Americans on how to fight for independence including its benefits. The second value of the book is that it argued to a particular audience thereby bringing them together in pursuit of a common goal. The book also remained of value since it helped in instilling the idea of self-governance or independence in people’s minds. The thought that the Americans could liberate themselves from the British rule was not in the minds of many except for the few radical thinkers.
The major limitation of the book is that it was not favoring the literate Americans as it was mainly presented in English. This made non-English speakers have a rough time in understanding its content and context. Another limitation of the book appertains to its poor distribution network that hampered effective access to the information.
Paine, Thomas. Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America. (Minnesota, US: .P.
Mendum, 1856), 29-187.