Literature and History: The Development of American Culture to 1865


Reading 10/14

Thomas Pain
Common Sense was written in 1776 in the midst of the American Revolution and it was very inspiring ,even as I read it now.Similar to Jefferson pointing out reasons to declare separation from Britain Pain wrote in pamphlet in a less aggressive form of reasons why this revolution was worth fighting.His words seem to be a voice of encouragement that Americans were making the right decision. He says” injures and disadvantages which we sustain by that connection are without number and our duty to mankind at large as well as to ourselves instructs us to renounce the alliance:because ,any submission to,or dependence on,Great Britain tends to involve this continent in European wars and quarrels and set us at variance with nations ho would otherwise seek our friendship,and against who we neither angered nor complaint.” Clearly arguing a possible gain in allies trade and growth we can gain as a free nation independent of Britain and their hold and drag over the colonies into affairs which don’t concern the common people of America.
Pain also discusses Britain’s tyranny to enforce tax and tells his readers to transport themselves to Boston and allow themselves to feel sympathy just like the in class discussion on Smith.He encourages his readers to allow themselves to gain wisdom for imagining themselves in such positions.He not only find ways to encourage his readers to unit as colonies by thoughts of smoothy for one another but he mention humanity often and human level of every man should want to fight not be a tory, and seek happiness for his children.I believe when he continues to discuss religion he uses French Revolution and close of churches to warn the colonial people that everyone is allowed to have their difference in religion. The main goal of each is establishing human morality even if you choose not to follow religion it is intertwined in our live by science and as long as a man be faithful to his beliefs he is a equal man .

Benjamin Franklin
In Benjamin Franklins reading there was further propaganda to influence and give warning to listing rules by which a great empire may be reduced .Mocking all the wrong doings of the King.He also goes on to state expectation and misconceptions of those who want to come to the Americas.Which eventually leads to his writing which was the most interesting for me about the Indians. Describing the differences that yes exist but the misconception that they are just savages with no structure. Which in some small way reminds me of Pains Persuasion
Reading 10/14


2 responses

  1. jacquibonaventure

    In Paine’s Common Sense he is very forward about what he believes in and his opinions about breaking away from England. He’s very assertive and doesn’t beat around the bush with what he’s trying to convey to his reader’s. I remember saying in class that even when he is taking a stab at anyone, he does it in a very professional and acceptable manner. This shows that Paine really wanted to be taken seriously in everything that he said. He didn’t want to leave any room for someone to be able to suggest that he’s evaluating anything because of some emotional or extremist reason. Comparing his writing to The Declaration of Independence is a good way to explain that theory. Though Jefferson did an amazing job with his piece, his was very reliant on the emotional side of his reasonings, which leaves an opening for criticism from anyone who wasn’t on his side. It’s clear that Paine wanted to eliminate the likelihood for such criticism on his piece by taking out the emotional vibe in his writing. He stated the actions needed to be taken and why. He does a great job of saying it’s not just about right or wrong, it’s common sense and if you disagree he makes you look foolish with his words. I found this to be a very clever way to motivate his readers and history shows, even the present shows, that he won a lot of people over by taking this route in his style of writing.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm

  2. Thomas Paine; born in England and supporter of the revolution. From Common Sense he mentions early on, “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.” I found this a great statement to start with since this is what he establishes throughout his writings. I noticed he adds in metaphors for what i take to be his facts, and for many of his arguments to be from what he has witnessed and learned, hence where his common sense comes from. He brings up an argument on America and Great Britain on the principles of nature and common sense. Further reading, I noticed by nature he means human nature. He argues the establishment of early America and how it is tied to Great Britain. One of my favorites he discussed is how a man divided into parishes will be addressed as a parishioner (simply because of the common interested shared amongst others). Whereas, if he is addressed in a town, he is addressed as a townsman. If he ventures out further, he is then addressed as a countrymen. Thinking about this in today’s terms, I understand it as to how we address people. In a work place, you’d address a boss or co-worker different then if you were outside of work (you’d address them more like a mutual friend). His common sense to situations still remain true to this day.

    In Franklin’s letters; The Way of Wealth to start mentions a “poor Richard”. Not only does he mention a poor Richard, but also mentioned is Father Abraham and Richard Saunders. In the class discussion, we concluded that this could be characters to people. So that the people would be better able to relate to the what the writer is saying simply by a relation to that character. This also comes across as a preacher that is preaching a sermon to the people. The meaning behind it, seams to be more guidance than anything. If you want help, Franklin mentions, “help yourself to be helped”, and also my favorite, “God helps them that help themselves”. You could almost relate it to Occupy Wall street right now, and how the protestors are like the audience Franklin was addressing. In order to get something done/accomplished you need to do/try it yourself, instead of having someone else come to your aide.
    Rules by which a Great Empire may be reduced to a small one. Franklin seems to be addressing this more of a point-by-point (hence “rules” are usually displayed point-by-point). Franklin changes up who he is addressing. In the first letters it was to the people, now it is addressed to Great Britain (more or less the officials). If i were to break it down, he basically is telling Britain everything they’re doing wrong to manage (or should I say mis-manage) and empire. It’s also for America to see what not to do when formed, or simply informing America what is to come, kind of more like an outline.
    Information to Those who Would Remove to America. This time Franklin seems to be addressing the Great Britain people. In short, he is basically telling the people that they should not deal with the empire, but come to a new one (relocate to America).

    November 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm

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