Date of Publication

5-2-2012

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Jose R Torre, PhD

Abstract

My paper will argue that for his efforts and writings in 1776, Thomas Paine should be considered one of the primary author of American Independence. It will illustrate how the writings of Thomas Paine helped propel America towards Revolution and independence. In an age where monarchs held power, Paine believed that the authority should lie in the hands of the people. Looking at the opinions of politicians in the Continental Congress, common colonial-Americans, as well as colonial representatives, it will illustrate that there was a deep connection with the King up until January 1776. Colonial-Americans would not have dared to defy the King, and instead, wanted reconciliation instead of revolution, even after the fighting broke out. After illustrating colonial-America‟s desire for resolution, it will look at Thomas Paine‟s Common Sense, and examine the ideals in his pamphlet, and how they pushed the country toward independence. Further, the paper will explore the notion that Thomas Paine influenced the writing the Declaration of Independence, looking primarily at the slavery clause that Thomas Jefferson omitted from the final copy. Finally, the paper will explore the impact Paine's American Crisis had on soldiers and citizens during the war, and how his pamphlet reignited the desire for American Independence

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