What motivated the colonies to fight for independence?. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, John Locke and Natural Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. Imagine…. You are a colonist living in Georgia on April 19, 1775 when the Revolutionary War starts at Lexington and Concord.
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What motivated the colonies to fight for independence?
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, John Locke and Natural Rights, and the Declaration of Independence
When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on
By July 4,1776, most colonists favored full separation from England.
However, 6 months prior to signing of Declaration of Independence, many colonists did not favor Revolution.
It was believed that Parliament in London could resolve the disputes in a satisfactory way with the colonies.
Eight months after Lexington and Concord (1775), onJanuary 10, 1776, a man recently arrived from England named Thomas Paine published a pamphlet called Common Sense.
Thomas Paine in “Common Sense” wrote:
“I offer nothing more than simple facts,
plain arguments, and common sense.”
..Colonists did not owe anything to England
In his simple language, Paine wrote the unspoken thoughts of the average colonist
He gave and gave them the courage to accept the radical idea of self-rule.
“Every thing that is right and reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘Tis Time To Part.” – Thomas Paine
For the first time, the notion of independence was in the minds of every yeoman (loyal worker) in the colonies and a new idea of a separate nationality was becoming a reality.
Thomas Paine was the first man to string together these five words:
“The United States of America.”
Common Sense is a brilliant piece of propaganda (information that is spread to promote a certain idea) from the American Revolutionary period.
Common Sense insulted the enemy, explained the reasons for revolt, and motivated the masses to act.
It greatly affected the delegates at the First Continental Congress to propose a formal document declaring independence
It also clearly divided the colonists
into two distinct groups:
Loyalists – Colonists who remain
Loyal to England
Patriots – Colonists who rebel
against King George III
Why do you think Paine’s Common Sense appealed to so many colonists?
At what point would you be willing to overthrow your government? What might they do wrong that would make you fight?
Do you think that the colonists SHOULD HAVE revolted? Did England do anything so wrong that a revolution was “just” and “necessary”?
Oertel's painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.