What does Thomas Paine say will guarantee American success? Why?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine played an instrumental role in the push for the American Revolution or departure of the colonies from the control of the British crown. He is also recognized as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States for his revolutionary and political contributions. He also played an important role in defending the French Revolution through his book Rights of Man.

Two of his most influential titles on the American Revolution include Common Sense and The American Crisis. Common Sense, which was presented as a pamphlet, became very popular during the Revolution. The document communicated the message of republicanism and the need to cut off ties with Britain. The information resonated positively with the rebels and those supporting the cause, and it served to bolster the revolutionary mood.

Paine decried the authority of the monarchy and affirmed the need for separation. These ideas were echoed in his other title The American Crisis, in which he affirms that it is honorable for the rebels to continue the struggle despite the great challenges it presents. Paine suggests that it is fortitude in the face of struggle that will present victory, because the price for freedom cannot be cheap.

Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

edcon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Though some people claim that Thomas Paine was not a Christian, the fact remains that in "The American Crisis, Number One," Paine claims that,

God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish.

Here, Paine indicates that the American colonies need not fear defeat at the hands of the British forces. Paine assures his readers that the colonies' cause is a just one that God will support and that they can rely on His intervention on their behalf. 

Additionally, Paine observes that though Britain appears to believe that it can hold the American colonies in a manner he calls "slavery," Britain's declaration that it can "bind us in all cases whatsoever" is sacrilegious because "so unlimited a power can belong only to God." Paine builds his argument that Britain's claims on the colonies must be displeasing to God and implies that British aggression will not be allowed to stand. Paine realizes that the British forces are formidable, and he also realizes that he must convince his readers to stay in the fight by offering a "guarantee" that they will not fight alone.

mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine played an important role in the American Revolution. He strongly believed that the colonists should fight for their freedom from Great Britain. He shared his thoughts in a few published documents.

Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet titled Common Sense. In this pamphlet, he explained the reasons why the colonists should be free from Great Britain. Thomas Paine was very much opposed to being ruled by a king. He felt people should elect their leaders and have a say in how the government runs.

In the Crisis Papers, written during the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine reaffirmed his support for the causes for which the colonists were fighting. He again stated that the colonists should be able to govern themselves and make their own policies.

Thomas Paine believed that if the colonists believed in themselves and in the causes for which they were fighting, success would follow.

msm0lly eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine was an Englishman who emigrated to North America during the Revolutionary War period. He developed strong opinions about the role of England's form of government, parliamentary monarchy, and its role in colonized America. He published his opinions in pamphlets. In 1776, Thomas Paine authored an influential pamphlet called "Common Sense" a mere six months before the United States declared themselves a nation through The Declaration of Independence.  In it, he advocated for the colonies to develop their own government. Paine suggestion that replacing England's government of the colonies with a local republican form of government would result in a greater success. The new nation would be more successful because they, rather than England, would own the wealth of their considerable natural resources.

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