Download My Pen and My Soul Have Ever Gone Together': Thomas Paine by Vikki Vickers PDF

By Vikki Vickers

It's the examine of the way Thomas Paine's spiritual ideals formed his political ideology and encouraged his political activism.

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Extra resources for My Pen and My Soul Have Ever Gone Together': Thomas Paine and the American Revolution (Studies in American Popular History and Culture)

Sample text

He used prevailing Enlightenment natural law political theory to appeal to Americans’ reason, and inflammatory anti-British rhetoric to appeal to their emotions. At times, the lines between Paine’s dual argument blurred. Like a New Light minister preaching to his wayward congregation, Paine presented the cause of American Independence as nothing less than a moral imperative. In Common Sense, Paine portrayed Revolution as the way of righteousness and reconciliation as the route to eternal damnation.

The Pennsylvania magazine 21 America unhappily realized that in her quest for prosperity, she forgot who was in charge, choosing instead to believe that a modicum of independence was not only proper but an inviolable right. Thus, like Ruralinda and Gothic, each party gained exactly what they sought but were made terribly unhappy in the bargain. The solution for Ruralinda and Gothic was simple: separation. Each person should be free to seek his or her own happiness. For America, in 1775, that solution—while not yet publicly debated—also became a more viable option than it ever had been before.

However, a closer look reveals that there is considerably more in the essay. Reading more carefully, it is arguably a short history of America’s struggle against British authority. Cupid, which represents America, is the source of all legitimate authority and has control over all local matters (like Ruralinda’s marriage). As long as Cupid is in charge, true marriages are created and lasting happiness is assured. When Hymen, Cupid’s helper (but not equal) intervenes and usurps that local authority misery is the result.

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