Q:

For what purposes did Thomas Paine write "Common Sense"?

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Quick Answer

When writing "Common Sense," Paine wanted to show the common man why the United States should be independent of England. He also wanted to show these people that they had the resources needed to build a navy.

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For what purposes did Thomas Paine write "Common Sense"?
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Full Answer

When Thomas Paine wrote "Common Sense," the public in the United States argued about whether the United States should become independent from Great Britain with one faction believing they should be independent, a second believing they should stay dependent on Great Britain and a third being undecided. In the book, Thomas Paine wrote in common language to show the third that were neutral why independence was a good idea.

He had two main arguments. The first was that the United States should be independent from England. He showed the advisability of separation and the problems that were inherent in a monarchy. His second argument was for the creation of a democratic republic. He explored the nature of society, the position America should take with other countries — especially Europe — diplomacy and trade. He also made the argument that the population was able and had the resources needed to support a strong navy.

Using the Bible that many people believed was the ultimate authority, Thomas Paine made philosophical, economic and political arguments that the common man could understand. He deeply influenced the neutral third party to believe that independence was the right path. This was a belief that the legislature already held, but they needed the support of the common people before they could proceed with independence.

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