The Enlightenment period in America was a significant period in which the revolutionary impetus towards autonomy from the British rule was achieved. The period was marked by scientific and philosophical doctrines that accorded religious, political and societal insights that led to democratic liberty. Paine, a Deism enthusiast contributed largely to the Enlightenment period by the publication of Common Sense, a book largely geared towards the utilizing rhetoric from past events in a bid to generate antipathy towards the Britons and consequently impart a constructive drive for America’s independence. From the given excerpt, Paine created a democratic and activist appeal for freedom bearing in mind that the Americans had already initiated warfare against its colonizers effected by the implementation of heavy taxation and trade tariffs that was very oppressive (Paine, 2006). The initial uprising in the insurgency was marked by the Lexington and Concord skirmishes, which clearly communicated the American intent towards self-governance from the tyranny.
However, the colonizers resorted to the reconciliation strategy in which they proposed for peaceful consultations into the matter to end the war. Paine therefore intervened during this period to remind their Americans that their cause was immense than what the Britons were offering as it encompassed the whole of humanity. Additionally, Paine reminded the Americans that universal problems would arise necessitating an intervention from a competent and powerful nation for a long-term solution (Paine, 2006). In this, Paine was describing America as it moved towards the institution of justice and egalitarianism for the nation and subsequent others. The effect of Paine’s document was immense and radical with the Americans, as witnessed by President George Washington, refused to settle for the ridiculing proposal of the Britons and forcefully move into the war that liberated America from the colonizers. The unity established by Paine’s words was indeed revolutionary.
Paine, T. (2006). Common Sense. Tempe, AZ: Big Fish Pub.