Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Common Sense

So, I read this work by a man named Thomas Paine. Thomas Paines Common Sense. In it he belittles the king of England and the monarchical system of government saying that the state of a king shuts him from the world, yet the business of a king requires him to know it thoroughly. Paine calls out to Americans, err colonials, excuse me, and pleads with them to follow their 'common sense'. He explains the evolution and necessity of government; taking his readers through life in the state of nature and the evolution of a republic. While he recognizes the need for government, Paine asks his readers to question its necessity themselves by posing the question: Is man innately good or evil? I believe that Paine sides with the latter. He goes on to explain how man wants security; how man looks to his government for security; and hoe man is willing to, weather he realizes it or not, give up his complete freedom for that security. At this point, Paine gets into the specific flaws he sees in the so much boasted Constitution of England.
Pains argument is very good. He engages his readers both intellectually and emotionally. He asks them to think through his queries and he gives compares the English system of government to those of the French and the Turks. This makes his readers wonder: Why is our system of government so similar to the governments of those who we disdain? Pain also speculates about how the King and his nobles came to power. Paine compares them to a group of thugs who gained their power long ago through brutality and fear. He also mentions something about the king being... an ass...
One important thing to note is that Paine recognizes the evolution that has taken place in Ameri- the colonies. If Paine were to have written any of these sacrilegious things whilst residing in England he would have been hung from the nearest tree. However, in the colonies, I caught myself that time, Paine could get away with his heretical comments about the crown. This evolution is very important. Just the fact that Paine could escape hanging in the colonies is huge! The people in the colonies had already mentally separated from English rule to a certain degree.They had established a revolutionary system of government that they had gotten really used to without anyone realizing it. It was not until after the King started trying to return things to the way they he wanted them that the people, or most of the people anyway, realized how much better the colonial systems of government were. I really mean it when I say it was a revolutionary system. History says that the colonists agree with me because, believe it or not, they had a revolution over these ideas. They realized that Thomas Paine was right and that the English system was wrongfully oppressive and that their system was awesomely better.
T-Paine started the train of thought that led to AMERICA! The most awesomest country ever.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Declaration Comparazation- Oh yeah

The Declaration of Independence and the Second Treatise, Of Civil Government have some of the same ideas. The question is: Did Thomas Jefferson read the Second Treatise and base the Declaration of Independence off it? Personally, I recognize that there are several similarities between the two, but I have no way of proving weather or not Jefferson read Locke’s work. He could have been told about Locke; or he could have read something that had copied Locke’s ideas. Because all of these ideas regarding basic human rights to life, liberty, property, est. were circulating through the minds of all the educated people of the 1800’s; it is very likely that Jefferson was exposed to Locke’s work during his formal education.