Common Sense By: Thomas Paine

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Common Sense
By: Thomas Paine
Group 1:
Matt Fidurko, Katie Lyter, Kristin Youngs, Megan Burgess, Davey Carls, Alex Anzivine
Society vs. Government
• “Society is produced by our wants and
government by our wickedness”
• Society promotes our happiness POSITIVELY
• Government restrains our behavior
NEGATIVELY
• “The one encourages intercourse, the other
creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the
last a punisher.”
• Society is great, but Government restricts
“Government is a necessary evil”
• Government restricts Society and forces us to
give up freedoms
• It can be destructive and evil
• Society and Government must have a
PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE
• Ensures the SECURITY of the people
We Need Government!
•
•
•
•
TO GOVERN
ENSURE FREEDOM
SECURITY
HELP SOCIETY WITH MORAL VALUES
Direct Democracy turns into a Republic
• Colonies get TOO BIG TO ASSEMBLE
– Forcing people to get elected and represent “THE
WHOLE”
•General mix won’t KEEP THEIR OWN OPINIONS
•Common change of the elected will lead to the whole
community happy
Advantages of Absolute Government
• Simple type of Government
• People would know:
– WHO IS IN CHARGE
– WHO IS CAUSING THE SUFFERING
– SUFFRAGE COULD MOST LIKELY BE
CURED
Complexity of British Government
• Society may suffer for a long time without
anyone actually knowing the cause
• The British Government is divided between:
– Monarchial Tyranny of the King
– Aristocratical Tyranny of the Peers
– The Commons
Checks and Balances,“absurd”
• Commons are supposed to be wiser and can
check the King
• King also has power to check the commons by
rejecting their bills
• THEY CONTRADICT THEMSELVES!
• “HOW CAME THE KING BY A POWER
WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO
TRUST, AND ALWAYS OBLIGED TO
CHECK? Such a power could not be the gift
of wise people , neither can any power,
WHICH NEEDS CHECKING, be from God:
yet the provision which the constitution
makes supposes such a power to exist.”
•Constitution requires us to have a “King”
•King is DISTRUSTED and receives checking from
society
•NO ABSOLUTE MONARCHY IN AMERICA!
• “by the will of the king is as much the law of
the land in Britain as in France, with this
difference, that instead of proceeding
directly from his mouth, it is handed to the
people under the formidable shape of an act of
parliament. For the fate of Charles The First,
hath only made kings more subtle- not more
just.”
•Form of government similar to an Absolute Monarchy
•Looked at more subtle because it seems the people
now approve it
• “The prejudice of Englishmen, in favour of
their own government, by King, Lords and
Commons, arises as much or more from
national pride than reason.”
•Prejudice of the Englishmen comes from the pride of
their nation, rather than coming with reason
Enlightenment and the Bible
 Mankind is equal in the order of creation
 Thomas Paine states “ Equality could only be destroyed
by subsequent circumstance...”
 Paine refers to the pages of the Bible
 Not a Christian, uses the passages of Samuel
 People trusted faith and religion before the
Enlightenment
 He uses the Bible to express his point so that people
understand
Monarchies and God
God disapproves of monarchy
- monarchies give too much power to one person
- misfortune is brought onto the subjects under the King’s
rule
A republic is affective
- protects citizens from unfair rule
- ex. Jewish community first had a republic, but the
citizens wanted monarchy
Samuel, the Mediator
 Samuel is a mediator between God and the people
 God suggests a king is destructive of liberty
God is the only one who can judge his people
The people added on to their sins
“Popery of Government”
 Paine refers to monarchy as “Popery of
Government”
“Popery of Government”- heads of government
Pope is head of Roman Catholic Church
King/Queen are heads of government
Pope- Head
of Roman
Catholic
Church
King- head of
government
Hereditary Monarchy
 Paine thinks hereditary monarchy is absurd
Not all descents are worthy of complete power
Ex. Rehoboam – fostered dangerous principles
- Inaugurated taxes and levies
No one by birth should have the right to rule
Honors, intelligence, sincerity, and equality
“ASS FOR A LION”
Hereditary Monarchy and England
 First established based on tradition
People didn’t want to change
Superstition
Monarchy in England
Not “natural”
William the Conqueror
Named himself king
William the
Conqueror
First Chosen Kings
 Precedents that exclude succession
Kings chosen by lot
Chosen by election
Chosen by usurpation
 English monarchy
Didn’t chose king in the previous ways
Hereditary = Bad Monarchies
 Hereditary Monarchy
 Kings chosen by genetics
 Succession
 Bad Rulers vs. Good Rulers
Unworthy and unfair kings
Kings being born into power
Reasons and Ridiculousness
Plausible- stopping civil wars
Eight civil wars
First Civil War (1642-1646)
Second Civil War (1647-1649)
Third Civil War (1649-1651)
Nineteen rebellions
England’s Constitution
Glory of the Constitution
House of Commons
Poison of the Constitution
Crown
Works Cited
Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. Part II, Of
Monarchy and Hereditary Succession.
Print.
Images:
Googleimages.com
Kendra Antle, Kate Cecchi, Abbey Jones, Robby Higby, Dom Saglimben,
Katelyn Woods
Period 7 J.C.C. History
Mr. Roh
Common Sense: Of Monarchy
and Hereditary Succession
Madison Moran, Kellie Smith, Shelby
Grimmer
Enlightenment Theories
• Paine thought all men are equal
– No matter rich or poor
Christian References
• Uses them to make his point
• Majority of the audience Christian
– Show that it goes against god. (sin)
Why God disapproves
• It is a sin to idolize anything/anyone other
than god.
• God says “kings equal people being
enslaved, cook and bakers, instruments of
war.”
• Kings will take the benefits of the people
“Popery of government”
• PEOPLE CONTRADICT THEMSELVES!
• Popery= pope having total control
• People did not like pope having total
control.
• Yet people wanted monarchy
• King= having total control of government
Absurdity of hereditary
monarchies
• You never know what you’re going to get
• Taking away the rights of future
generations
How It Started
• Most likely from a savage tribe choosing
the head of their group (Lord of the Flies)
• Having sons lead was “convenient”
• After a few generation it became
traditional
“It’s just not natural!’
• All men are born with equal rights. No birth
should be any more important.
• Adam chose to disobey god, it affected his
children
• Adam= hereditary succession
Kings chosen by lot
• Choosing by lot= random king
• Most likely will not have good leadership
skills
• Could be a “couch potato”
Kings chosen by election
• The people vote for the king
• Hereditary succession= children won’t be
as qualified as voted leader
Kings by usurpation
• William the Conqueror
• Take over by force; makes themselves
leader
• No right to power= descendents have no
right to power
Born Naive
• Royal children= spoiled brats
• Don’t empathize with their people= leads to
making wrong decisions
• Foolish, evil, wrong leaders
Monarchies prevents civil wars…
Pssshhtt, yeah right.
• Monarchies are supposed to prevent civil
wars
• If this was true it would be one good thing
about monarchies
• BUT England's has a history of 8 civil war
and 19 rebellions under monarchies
The “Glory” of the Constitution
• Common people in England thought they
had a say in government= House of
Commons
• King held the true power and bribed
members of the House of Commons
• To say England is a “Republic” is a greatly
By Thomas Paine
Part IV
Annie McHone Melanie Hudson, Ryan Vossler,
Lexie Zimmer, Josh Greaves, Andrew Stady
“Small
islands not capable of
protecting themselves are the proper
objects for kingdoms to take under
their care; but there is something
very absurd, in supposing a continent
to be perpetually governed by an
island.”
- Typically, the empire with the strong
central government protects the weak.
- In this case, Britain, an island, rules
over America, a huge continent.
Why does Paine refer to King
George III as the
“Sullen tempered Pharaoh of
England”?
- Ignores the pain he is causing because he
believes he is all powerful.
- King angrily punishes colonies
-Similar belief of the Egyptian Pharaohs.
Why is separation the only
possible way forward?
-Move backward forever if American’s submit
to British laws.
- Always be arguing over change that will
never come.
- America is already greater than what the
king wishes.
- Only way forward is to break away from the
king.
Why is reconciliation not possible?
- Reuniting with British is foolish.
-Bond between those in England, and those in
colonies is weak.
- Grudges
-Tensions would carry on for centuries to come.
What does Paine propose is a
major problem with
monarchies?
- Monarchies are always at war within
themselves or other countries.
- Kings
believe that their thoughts are
correct.
- Kings don’t actually understand what goes
on in their country.
What type of government does
Paine propose would be best for
America?
-Paine wants a republican government.
- Laws passed through voting.
- Each colony would sent at least thirty
delegates to one Congress.
- Laws must have three fifths of Congress to
pass.
What does Paine mean when he
declares that in America “LAW IS
KING”?
- We did not focus on one leader.
- We focus on a set of written laws to rule us.
Why does Paine believe that his
understanding of the nature of
government is a product of the
Enlightenment?
- Paine believes in natural rights.
- Paine believes that government should be ruled by people
and a set of laws, not a divine ruler.
- Paine states that all people have liberties.
Who is the “fugitive” Paine speaks
of?
- The fugitive is freedom.
- No one has yet found freedom.
Who must receive the
fugitive?
-All countries must receive the fugitive.
- If everyone can receive freedom then they can achieve
world peace.

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