Related Analysis Pages
Thesis in Common Sense
Thesis Examples in Common Sense:
"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind...." See in text (Introduction)
This sentence serves as a call to the universality of the colonies' cause. It's not just for the thirteen American colonies; independence is a right that all should have. This inclusivity helps to improve Paine's argument by reinforcing his broader claims about the inherent right of universal equality.
"they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpation of either..." See in text (Introduction)
It is the right of the American people to question, and even reject, the decisions and governing laws of the King of England and Parliament. This is the basis of Paine's work going forward: he is calling Britain's colonial rule into question, and raising important concerns about the validity of the laws imposed upon the colonies.
I. Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
"the peers are an house in behalf of the king; the commons in behalf of the people; but this hath all the distinctions of a house divided against itself..." See in text (I. Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution)
Paine believes that for a government and a nation to be successful they must be united, and its people must be equal. This further reinforces his opinion, in comparison with the way England is ruled.
III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs
"Let the assemblies be annual, with a President only..." See in text (III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs)
This is a turning point in the section, wherein Paine begins to explain what he believes to be the ideal method of governance for America.
"Our plan is commerce..." See in text (III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs)
Here Paine notes that the goal of a free America is not to seek out conflict, or exert authority over other countries, but rather to have a successful and prosperous economy made possible through the inclusive exchange of goods from countries throughout the world.
"This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe..." See in text (III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs)
Paine makes a key point in differentiating the young America from its "parent country" and an early reference to the "melting pot" culture which America would later assume. He advocates throughout the text for separation from Britain, but in this moment further specifies that Americans should not feel tied to the "parent country" because not all Americans came from said country.
"’Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent..." See in text (III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs)
This is a critical quote to note because it highlights the deeply held belief that the cause of the revolution extends beyond the thirteen colonies. Paine's diction here helps to extend the importance of the pamphlet's argument.
IV. Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflections
"The infant state of the Colonies, as it is called, so far from being against, is an argument in favour of independence..." See in text (IV. Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflections)
This is a primary example of one of Paine's key rhetorical devices, whereby he acknowledges the potential weakness in his argument and then manipulates it so it may be seen as a strength. In this case he writes that the relative youth of America should be considered an advantage, rather than a hindrance.