Analysis of Paine's 'Common Sense' and Chalmers' 'Plain Truth': A Reflection of Sentiments Regarding Independence

815 Words3 Pages
Writing about Primary Sources: Paine's Common Sense and Chalmers' Plain Truth Introduction Thomas Paine's work, Common Sense, was written in 1776. James Chalmers' Plain Truth, written the same year, was a response to what Paine had written. Each was written during a politically divisive time, and the opposing views reflected in each of these documents clearly reflect the sentiments of that period in our nation's history. The thirteen colonies were not of one mind on the subject of whether or not they wanted independence from England. There were strong opinions to support views on either side. As we can see by looking closely at each of these primary sources, emotions ran high on both sides. Thomas Paine Paine's viewpoint is stated strongly and unequivocally. He believes that the only way the thirteen colonies can thrive is to obtain their independence from Great Britain. He states his reasons at the outset quite clearly, and from the wording, it is argued quite persuasively that in his view, there is really no acceptable option but to fight for independence. Paine does not believe that government is a desirable force in a country, but that it is a necessary one. One of his initial arguments is that because of mankind's basic "impulses of conscience," government is required to keep law and order in the land: "For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver" (Paine, 1776, p. 19). In Paine's view, then, to live

More about Analysis of Paine's 'Common Sense' and Chalmers' 'Plain Truth': A Reflection of Sentiments Regarding Independence

Open Document