The Ideas Of The Enlightenment, By Thomas Paine And The Declaration Of Independence

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The ideas of the Enlightenment spread to the American colonies, profoundly influencing leaders of the Revolution to create a new structure of government. Enlightenment, as defined in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, can be broadly defined is the movement towards reason and individualism rather than tradition. The text, by Thomas Paine, challenged the principles of liberty, equality, and justice. Thomas Paine was a revolutionary thinker who used Enlightenment ideology as a platform to persuade towards the founding of an independant America, and towards the founding of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson and adopted by the Continental Congress, was the first attempt at putting…show more content…
Then the more shame upon her conduct. Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their families” Paine makes the argument that many Americans are of British descent, but it is irrelevant. Additionally, if the colonies had not been dependent on Britain, then they would no longer be enemies with countries that are enemies of Britain. Therefore, Pain argues, the condition of being Britain’s colony is what brought upon the need for protection in the first place. Paine begins to set out the details of what he sees as the proper form of government for America. He offers a way of choosing the congress and President and recommends the convening of a "Continental Conference" to produce a "Continental Charter" that will lay down certain laws for the union and ensure the protection of certain fundamental rights. Paine says that the law should reign sovereign in America, and that it is important that the most fundamental laws be inscribed in a constitution. “let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king . For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other. But lest any ill use should afterwards arise, let the crown at the conclusion of the ceremony be demolished and scattered among the people whose right it is. . . . “ (7) Paine concludes that in the independent
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