American History



Duringthe revolutionary war, most Americans resisted the payment of taxesthat were imposed by the British Parliament (Cobbset al, 2012). Most patriots claimed that the taxes imposed wereunconstitutional and heavily protested against the taxes. During theepoch, tar and feathering were used by the American patriots as a wayof waging war against the British men that collected taxes. The tarbrush was especially reserved for custom inspectors and thoseresponsible for the enforcement of duties on certain goods that wereimported (Faragheret al, 2006). Most of the loyalists were against the case for Americato gain independence, which made them support the imposition oftaxes. Besides, most of the loyalists were tarred and feathered, butnot all Americans supported the tarring and feathering practice. Oneof the well known individuals that were tarred and feathered was JohnMalcom, who was a British customs official, an army officer and a seacaptain. His tarring and feathering was due to the reasoning thatpatriots saw that he deserved this as a form of punishment. Thetarring and feathering of John Malcom was even been represented as aprint in the memory of the American Revolution as depicted in theimage that follows the aim of this assignment is to discuss howThomas Paine would interpret the image and how supporters of Malcomwould interpret the same.

Whenit comes to Thomas Paine, he would interpret the image as a gooddepiction of democracy. From the image, the American patriots areseen taking law at their own hands rather than involving theloyalists, who were in power. This is how society can bedistinguished from the society according to the opinion of Paine.Paine argues that society should be seen as everything good andconstructive that individuals join together to accomplish (Paine,2013). In this image, people are fighting Malcom for their own goodthe gaining of independence. Since people are fighting for the needto gain independence, they can be perceived to engage in somethinggood and constructive. Paine further argues that the sole purpose ofthe government is to protect liberty, property, and life and it needto be judged chiefly on how well it realizes this goal (Paine,2013). This is to imply that if the government is not protecting theliberty, property, and lives of its people, then it can be judged onits performance. This is to mean that Paine would interpret the imageas an indication of having a government that can be judgedappropriately for not protecting its individuals, which calls forcitizens to act in order to have their democracy. Therefore, theimage is a representation of a constructive and necessary fight.

Onthe other hand, supporters of Malcom would interpret the image as anindication of torture. This is because the supporters would arguethat, when a person is not satisfied with an action that is doneagainst him/her, he/she is supposed to seek justice through engagingthe courts. This is because the court will be in a position to dealwith the injustice committed against the individuals. Besides, it isthrough seeking the court’s justice that a person will be in aposition to reform for better, but not through mob justice as a wayof giving discipline to the person. Therefore, in this case, theimage is a representation of a violation of a person’s rights sincethere is mob beating.


Paine,T. (2013).&nbspCommonsense.Lanham: Start Publishing LLC.

Cobbs,H. E., Blum, E. J., &amp Gjerde, J. (2012).&nbspMajorproblems in American history: Documents and essays / edited byElizabeth Cobbs Hoffman, Edward J. Blum, Jon Gjerde.Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Faragher,J. M., Buhle, M. J., Armitage, S. H., &amp Czitrom, D. J.(2006).&nbspOutof many: A history of the American people.Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Related Posts

© All Right Reserved