Thomas Paine And Enlightenment Influences

445 Words2 Pages
Enlightenment Influences The Enlightenment period brought about a lot of change for life thereafter. The Enlightenment philosophers and writers influenced literature, creative arts, government documents, and much more. Some ideas from the Enlightenment were: the need for a new government structure, with “consent of the people”. Freedoms from oppression, power of democracy were key ideas during the Enlightenment period. Balance of power and natural rights were also ideas birthed during this period. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense embodies each of these ideas from the Enlightenment period. These ideas helped him not only create this literary work, but were the bases and formulation in which he wrote it. The first key idea from the Enlightenment period embraced in Paine’s writing is the idea of freedom from oppression. He tells a brief story of how the British government is being unfair, and treating its people poorly by taxation and other unjust tactics. He also talks about Parliament being too involved with colonial life. With his word choice he mocks how the British government has “not protect[ed] us from our enemies on our account; but from her enemies on her own account” (Paine). This is his first indication that we must relieve ties with the British government, which is followed by other accounts of which British clearly look for the benefit for themselves and not the colonies. The second key idea from the Enlightenment period embraced in Paine’s writing is the idea of a new structured government. “The authority of Great Britain over this continent is a form of government, which sooner or later must have an end” (Paine). This idea was previously borrowed from philosophers during the Enlightenment. Paine along with others believes the colonies needed a new government in order to prosper and develop into a stronger nation. Thomas Paine chooses the words “a
Open Document