Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence

In his book, Paine (2015) expresses his disagreement with the reign of British in America. Hence, he totally disputes the British system of the government. In his opinion, he thinks that the monarch practiced by the British government has been given a significant amount of power. Moreover, the system has pretended to offer checks and balances; however, it is not the case. Paine (2015) further gives his opinion on the aspects of hereditary succession and monarchy. According to him, man every human being was created in an equality state and the difference between the subjects and the king is not natural (Rickman, 2014). This aspect is argued from a point where a comparison is made pertaining the time when there were no kings. However, the ancient Jews saw the need for having one. Therefore, from this perspective, the monarchy has resulted from sin, which is condemned by God and even the Bible. Moreover, Paine views hereditary succession as a practice which is abominable and has in itself led to emergence of various menaces such as corruption, civil wars, and even kings who are incompetent (Rickman, 2014).

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It is argued that it is through British’s rule, America has been able to flourish and therefore finds the necessity of having a king, however, Paine (2015) claims that the argument does not realize the far that the United states has been able to evolve without the help of the Britain and that Britain has only been watching over America so that it could grow economically, therefore underserving the loyalty of the US. Further, he says that it is impossible to gain a lot if at all the colonies are attached to is only possible to conduct commerce with the rest of Europe if only America can achieve independence (Rickman, 2014). With the continued attachment of Britain with the colonies, there shall also be continued occurrence of the same problems even in the future. Therefore, Paine (2015) asserts that the most important aspect is gaining independence, failure to do which will be just a cover-up of problems which have a high probability of reoccurring.

Paine (2015) goes ahead and proposes the kind of government that should be adopted by the independent colonies – namely, it should one which is a representative of the democracy which will give equal weight to a particular colony. Nevertheless, the author also gives the reason for why the current time is the most appropriate for seeking independence focusing on the capabilities which are presently available as well as the size of the colonies. For instance, Paine gives an example of the British Navy which can inspire America to desire to build one of the same size; by so doing, there will be enhanced the security of trade as well as its prosperity.

Being a colony of Britain, America lost its respect when viewed by other nations since they were perceived as rebels who could not perform any alliance with any other country. Hence, in a bid to enhance its prosperity, it ought to have declared its independence. Through this step, it has become possible for America to seek help from other states in their struggle for freedom.



Paine, T. (2015). The American war for liberty shewn to be the cause of god: Millennialism, common sense, and the American revolution. Concord Review, 175.

Rickman, T. C. (2014). The life of Thomas Paine. Cambridge University Press.