The Relevancy Of Thomas Paine
Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs in America
In his pamphlet, Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs in America, Thomas Paine presented several arguments. Firstly, he posited that America would have performed better if European countries did not have extended their powers over it. Secondly, he further argued that Britain did not protect the colonies out of altruism but for its own financial gains only, and that America would have flourished without the British interference. Thirdly, he argued that Britain has no legitimate claim to American allegiance, and therefore, many Americans having British descent become an irrelevant fact in this regard. Fourthly, he suggested, and supported his suggestion, that America must not reconcile with Britain because doing so will only cause the present situation repeat itself. Fifthly, Paine further explained that America must not leave a legacy for its children in the form of violence by taking up arms against the Britain. Lastly, he recommends production of a Continental Charter by the Continental Conference laying down laws for the union while ensuring human rights.
Most of the arguments have been presented using images and metaphors. It makes the pamphlet colorful and appealing to the readers’ eyes. Moreover, the metaphors simplify the complex arguments by converting them into familiar concepts. He has given one of the most suitable examples in the context refuting the argument that America flourished under the Britain rule, that a child flourishing on milk must never eat meat. For the relative power, the government structure proposed by Paine is interesting. Primarily, Paine suggested that colonies must be divided into districts, which must send delegates to Congress. President will be chosen from one colony at a time, i.e., every time the president will be chosen from a new colony. This system must be repeated until a president is elected from each colony. The suggested government system is less democratic on a national level, and gives a lot of power to the colonies.
Paine, Thomas. "Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs." The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature (1776): 338.
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