Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and American Patriotism

ThomasPaine’s “Common Sense” and American Patriotism

TheAmerican history is rooted in colonialism. Indeed, the United Stateswas under the rule of Britons until 4thJuly 1776, when it gained independence after years of revolutionarywar. More often than not, the revolutionary war strikes images ofphysical combat, where the soldiers went to the battlefield to fightagainst their colonizers. However, there were other fronts on whichthe war was fought, particularly through the use of literary works,which would change the mindset of individuals. This is the case forThomas Paine’s article, “Common Sense” a pamphlet that servedas a rallying call to Americans to volunteer and join the army so asto force the Britons out of the country and declare independence. Ina world where a large number of countries are fighting about oneentity over the other, rallying the people towards a particular goalor course of action is paramount to winning the war. This isparticularly the case for war on terror, which has caught a largenumber of countries across the globe by surprise. While there arenumerous opinions, it is evident that the effectiveness of thepamphlet was based on its capacity to draw patriotism from thereaders.

First,“Common Sense” outlined the fact that any person who believed inthe goodness and appropriateness of freedom should rise up in armsand fight alongside American patriots. Paine went ahead to speak outagainst loyalists, thereby inspiring colonists to fight against theoppression that was visited upon them by the British (Paine 272).This had the effect of mobilizing volunteers who would combat theBritons and fasten the process of independence. This is the same casefor the war against terror, all people who believe in freedom shouldrise up and fight against in all possible ways including throughjoining the military and calling for policies that would ensure thatthe freedoms are not rolled back as a result of some criminals. Anyperson who cannot see the sense of the war would essentially be anenemy of freedom.

Inaddition, the pamphlet underlined the fact that standing up for theAmerica and fighting for or declaring independence was not simplyabout desiring to go to war, rather it was about standing up for whatwas just and right, as well as establishing a new democracy that hadthe capacity to inspire freedom across the globe (Paine 273). Bydrawing on common desires of the citizenry including freedom, libertyand democracy, Thomas Paine managed to garner support from the peopleand whip up their sense of patriotism, thereby mobilizing people intomaking a wining army. Similarly, the fight against terrorism does notsimply entail showing the might of a particular country, religion orrace over the others, rather it revolves around ensuring that theAmericans and other people across the globe can enjoy the freedomsand democracy that would be eliminated by terrorism and extremistreligions.

Inconclusion, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” is considered one ofthe most influential books in the history of the United States.Nevertheless, it’s influence rested on its capacity to whip up thepatriotism levels of the citizenry and get them to rise up againstwhat they considered as the enemy. This is also the case in thecontemporary world, where any item or individual that hopes to gainthe support of the citizenry would have to develop and mobilizeAmericans around their patriotic duty to the country particularly insafeguarding their freedom and democracy.


Paine,Thomas. CommonSense,the American crisis. 270-274

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