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Mr. Ulmschneider's Forums > AP Government: Madison, Paine, and Politics

Thomas Paine and American political culture

posted Dec 16, 2012 19:28:04 by DanaMoore
Gordon Wood, in his persuasive article about how Thomas Paine was just as important as the other founding fathers,shows how Thomas Paine affected the American Revolution through his pamphlet "Common Sense" and how his other writings like "The Rights of Man" reflected the view of government he developed and influenced in America while he was there. I agree with this argument because Paine's views are prevalent in American political culture. We as Americans don't enjoy the thought of another World War and we tend to support the actions of the United Nations or our government to prevent it, either through treaties or "executive agreements." Well, this whole idea was proposed after World War I by our president Woodrow Wilson. If we look back to Thomas Paine, it says he "envisioned war itself might be abolished" and he sought a "a new kind of international republican politics that would promote peace among nations." This idea was adopted by many nations and especially by America, and today is still a value we as Americans hold.
Thomas Paine also believed "that people were citizens, not subjects and were born with equal and natural rights...and that people were free and independent to pursue happiness in their own way." These views are seen expressed in our constitution and in The Declaration of Independence. They are the foundation of our nation and are the platform on which our government stands. It is our views of equality and liberty that are rooted among the founding fathers - like Thomas Paine. He also says that "In a country where all men were once adventures, the differences of a few years in their arrival [could]." This belief is seen when one considers that America is a "mixing bowl" and it is seen as a land of opportunity that welcomes immigrants along with their cultures and religions. America is a land of freedom for people and religion, and no matter where you come form you can still become and american.
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2 replies
emmalarson1 said Dec 16, 2012 20:26:10
I agree that Paine's belief in America as a "mixing bowl" can be applied today- there are so many successful immigrants in our culture that we still consider to be American. This can also be related to Paine himself. He came to America as an adult, yet he voiced so well the thoughts behind the Revolution. It goes to show how ideologically connected to the nation he was, considering how prominent a role he still has today.
DanaMoore said Dec 16, 2012 22:08:30
Yeah, i think it's interesting got see how Paine says the it was a land of immigrants, and how today it is called a mixing bowl, because of how immigrants form all different countries and of all different ethnicities have settled here. It has affected our need to protect minority rights and now might led to a minority majority, and I wonder what Paine would say about that.
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