As the year 1776 began in the American colonies, tension with King George III's England was at perhaps an all-time high. Americans were frustrated with the actions of their rulers overseas. Taxes and trade restrictions had been placed on them, and British and mercenary soldiers occupied their towns and cities. There had even been fighting at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. As America grew, England's hold on it tightened, and a few voices began speaking of independence. The loudest and most convincing of these belonged to Thomas Paine, born in England and living in Philadelphia. His pamphlet, Common Sense, expressed the argument for American independence in a way no one had before and had a great influence on the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine had only lived in America for two years when he began writing Common Sense, but that was enough for him to witness the oppression of the British. .
1.Of the origin and design of government in general, with concise remarks on the English Constitution:.
Section I of Thomas Paines, Common Sense he expresses his feelings on society and government. He believed that society and government had different origins. Society in terms is founded by our wants as humans and our government by our wickedness. Society promotes happiness by "uniting our affections" while government "restrains our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher." Government is, in short, at best an essential evil, and at worst, an intolerable evil. Paine's view was essentially that we are naturally sociable because of our desires; and due to economic self-interest, the more perfect a civilization is, the less government it will need because society will be peaceful as a result of fulfilled needs. Basically, the less government there is the better people are. In Part II, he puts forth proposals such that public funds can be used to help the poor.