The 17th Century Puritan Influence on the Writings of Thomas Paine

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Common Knowledge: 17th Century Puritan Influence in Common Sense There can be little doubt as to the fact that Thomas Paine was one of the most incisive minds of the Enlightenment, an intellectual movement that began in Europe and quickly spread to the surrounding continents including the United States of America, where Paine immigrated to. The embracing of concepts such as Deism and other ideas that favored man's prowess and knowledge over the traditional influence of a divine power during the turn of the 18th century, was a fairly practical source of inspiration, if not justification, for the Founding Fathers in their pursuit of an armed revolution against Britain that would eventually result in the liberation of the colonies and the founding of today's nation. Paine, of course, authored one of the most radical treatises advocating this separation from the British rulers of the colonies when he penned Common Sense, which was essentially a pamphlet widely disseminated amongst colonists beginning in January of 1776. This date would prove to be of immense importance both for Paine's work and the way in which the author wrote it, since it was preceded months before by the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Yet, the most prudent scholars cannot deny that despite the zeitgeist of Paine's day (The Enlightenment), there are indisputable influences of the 17th century Puritan religion that wove their way into Common Sense, and proved to be the deciding factor in how the author

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