Thomas Paine Ideology

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Choosing one individual that can explain the new ideas and the mind of the American people during the Revolutionary period is a tough task. However, for the purpose of this paper, I will argue that Thomas Paine’s Common Sense best represents the formulating ideology found during this period. I will argue this through three distinct points. First, his argument of separation rather than reconciliation encapsulated the ideas behind the need for a revolution. Second, the purposes of society and government and why the British government no longer fulfilled the purpose of government and why law must reign supreme. Third, the need for a new government that is beholden to the people and wherein the people check the government. I will then conclude …show more content…
This belief led to a lot of suspicion towards a strong national government and influenced Paine’s formulation of government. Paine argued that each colony should be divided into districts and each district would send delegates to Congress. The president would then be elected by the Congress (99). The idea behind electing the president by the Congress would seek to make the president subject to the Congress. This gives the president far less power than if they were their own independent branch of government. This thought of giving a legislature elected by the people most of the power while strictly limiting an executive’s power comes from the suspicion of the Kings absolute power over the colonies. I think that Paine encapsulates the American mind on this point because this is very similar to how the Articles of Confederation and the Pennsylvania constitution were set up. Much like Paine’s vision for government Pennsylvania instituted a unicameral legislative branch and the president would be chosen by the legislative branch and the executive council. Also, the Articles of Confederation gave all the power to Congress and Congressional representation was equal, in that, each state could send the same amount of representatives as the other states. Further, the Executive held no power, but merely presided over Congress and was elected by the Congress. Each of these documents show a lot in common with Paine’s original ideas formulated in Common Sense. However, more importantly, is Paine’s argument for a constitutional convention (98). It is here that Paine argues the need for a document that will ensure the government secures freedom and property to all men and also the free exercise of religion. This sentiment was very important, the idea to create a document that enshrines what government can and cannot do and what protections are

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