Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Dr. Joe’s Classes Writing Can Be This Fun! Dec. 22, 2013
Important Writings In every session of this series of Important Writings,we focus on the author(s), the historical background, the synopsis, and the legacy of one selected writing to prepare and equip the students for the age-specific writing classes, which are custom-designed, result-oriented, and highly intensive.
Today we will discuss this one: Common Sense Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine (Jan. 29, 1737 – Jun. 8, 1809) was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. 1. Historical Background and Author
In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation.
It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.
2. The Synopsis There are four sections in Common Sense. I. Of the Origin and Design of Government in general, with concise Remarks on the English Constitution
II. Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs IV. On the Present Ability of America, with some Miscellaneous Reflections
3. The Legacy Thomas Paine has a claim to the title The Father of the American Revolution because of Common Sense. One distinctive idea in Common Sense is Paine's beliefs regarding the peaceful nature of republics; his views were an early and strong conception of what scholars would come to call the democratic peace theory. The pamphlet has influenced the modern politics and government widely and deeply.
An Excerpt (Section I) SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. (end of this paragraph)
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.
Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest;
and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others. (end of this paragraph)
An Excerpt (Section III) I have heard it asserted by some, that as America has flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect. Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument. We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a precedent for the next twenty.
But even this is admitting more than is true; for I answer roundly that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power taken any notice of her. The commerce by which she hath enriched herself are the necessaries of life, and will always have a market while eating is the custom of Europe.(end of this paragraph)
Age-Specific Class Coverage (Big Schedule) 1. Vocabulary 2. Sentences 3. Paragraphs 4. Composition 5. Parts of Speech
6. Punctuation 7. Format 8. Spelling 9. Diction 10. Research and Writing 11. Writing Exercises 12. Writing Critique (Classics Appreciation + Writing Samples Analysis)
Please visit our website for the class slides and other info. chinacanadausa.com
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!