Thomas Paine

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Contrast the attitude taken towards England in the Mayflower Compact and "The Crisis X: On the King of England's Speech" by Thomas Paine.

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The attitudes of the colonists toward the English were decidedly different in the Mayflower Compact and in Thomas Paine's "The Crisis X: On the King of England's Speech" because the situations in which the documents were written were decidedly different. Let's explore each document so that you can get an idea of how to construct your answer.

We will look first at the Mayflower Compact. Make note of the opening statement. The colonists declare themselves to be "Loyal Subjects" of King James, calling him their "dread Sovereign Lord" and listing some of his many titles. Their compact, they say, is to keep order among them and to assist them in establishing good laws, yet they remain faithful servants of the king. The colonists at this time did not wish for independence but for good government even though they were now far from the mother country.

Now let's turn our attention to Paine's pamphlet. The attitude toward the king here is anything but submissive and obedient. England, Paine says, is making "every effort to enslave" America, and the king has "proudly threatened to bring her at his feet." The king's speech is actually laughed at. Paine goes on to take the king's speech apart and answer each line to expose the king's manipulations and deceptions. He denies that the British will show America any clemency, for that is not how the monarchy operates, as he shows by relating an incident from history. America wants independence, not a return to the rule of England, which has treated it with great injustice.

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