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Thomas Paine's Common Sense

            According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the term common sense " designates the sum of original principles found in all normal minds and the ability to judge and reason in accordance with those principles."" Equally, when Paine adopted this title for his work, he believed he was speaking on behalf of all of the "normal minds- in the colonies that were being subjugated to the King's tyrannical rule. In addition, he understood the phrase common sense to be an appropriate and applicable term dealing with the "original principles- these men and women fostered as well as their "ability to judge and reason- within this ideology. Through his writing, Paine desperately hoped to prove to his fellow man that common sense was the only entity needed in order to recognize and correct the social mayhem infringed upon them on a daily basis.
             Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, begins with the creation of government, as lived by the colonist, and progresses to the wrongful acts administered by Parliament and the King of England. Thomas Paine explains how the colonies began governing themselves and how an appointed King did not necessarily have the people's values in mind. This groundwork laid the path for the argument against the British government to take place. It is portrayed that the people of the colonies existed in harmony and dealt with their own problems in ways that conformed to the majority. Paine explains how disruptive it is for a single man, a King, to rule and govern a colony hundreds of miles away. This is very obvious and logical. "To be always running three or four thousand miles with a tale or a petition, waiting four or five months for an answer, which when obtained requires five or six more to explain it in- (24). To worsen the situation of the King, Paine also discusses the existence of heredity succession in a monarchy. "To the evil of monarchy we have added that of hereditary succession; and as the first is a degradation and lessening of ourselves, so the second, claimed as a matter of right, is an insult and an imposition on posterity- (13).

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