2nd : Ethan Tan, Jonathan Chin, Edwin Chung, Derek Weix
Thomas Paine lifted the spirits of the soldiers, the people of the colonies, and all supporters in the fight for freedom. He did so by actions and words. In 1776 Thomas Paine published a pamphlet labeled Common Sense. Thomas Paine wrote the pamphlet in order to inspire patriots and colonies to declare independence from the tyranny of Britain; the pamphlet was so famously acclaimed that it earned Thomas Paine the title "The Father of the American Revolution". 500,000 thousand copies circulated the colonies. No single event or factor seemed to have had such a catalytic effect as Paine’s Common Sense. The pamphlet captured seized the public’s imagination like no other, forcing the idea of separation to the streets, allowing every common person to be aware. It offered a solution to the tyranny of King George; Common Sense was an unequivocal, direct argument for American independence, which could be read and understood by any colonist. The receptiveness of the pamphlet made it abundantly known and famous, resulting in one of the bestselling books of it's time.
Thomas Paine was an excellent exhibitor of integrity as a virtue. While it is true that morals are subjective, one can objectively say that he adhere to his with stringency and vigor. His purness is shown in him defining himself as an American. Even though he was of British ethnicty he became on of the biggest American patiots in history. He has shown this integrity though his writings, namely Common Sense and The American Crisis. In addition to his work with the American revolution he also showed integrity with another book, The Age of Reason. In The Age of Reason Thomas Paine sincerely shows his views on the corruption of the Church the logical fallacies of Christianity, thus displaying his views.
Common Sense began with theoretical arguments and then moved into government and religion, moving onto the colonial situation. Paine divided government and society. Labeling government as an institution whose sole purpose is to protect us from our own vices, and society as everything constructive and good, where people can join together. Paine made a theoretical situation in which a small group of people isolated on an island will eventually begin making laws. But they will be much happier if they are responsible for the creation of laws, than have another power controlling them. Paine realizes that the British system is complicated, does not have a system of checks and balances and grants too much power. Paine recommended a representative democracy that gives all the colonies equal power in the law system.
The American Crisis
Following the publication of Common Sense, Pain published The American Crisis pamphlet series. The series was to galvanize the Americans in battles, giving more moral and spirit. The pamphlet series included the Paine’s most famous quote, one read by General George Washington to his troops. "These are times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Thomas Paine showed both incredible and terrible citizenship; the subjectiveness in this particular situation is noteworthy. As a British citizen Thomas Paine would be considered a traitor. Yet Thomas Paine was most certainly a citizen of America, with all of his books and pamphlets he made the revolution possible. The book Common Sense helped to create America in the mind of Americans, as an act of citizenship it displayed tremendous qualifications. Although this act, from the viewpoint of the British, was not only an act treason but a begetter of treason.
The work of Thomas Paine was so influential that it was described as “Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” Paine's pen was George Washington, sword. Paine's pieces brought his ideas to an audience, influencing the public opinion to believe that independence from King George and Britain was a necessity. With Paine's writings during the 18th century, it shed light to the public of separating from Britain, it raised the spirits of the Colonies, and it helped spark a revolution.
"Thomas Paine." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Aug 28 2013, 10:06 http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-paine-9431951.
Kreis, Steven. "Thomas Paine, 1737-1809." The History Guide. N.p., 30 May 2013. Web. 28 Aug. 2013. <http://www.historyguide.org/intellect/paine.html>.
Philp, Mark, "Thomas Paine", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2013/entries/paine/>.