American Revolution Criticisms Against and Praise for Term Paper

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American Revolution

Criticisms against and praise for colonialism in America: A comparative analysis of "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine and "Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion" by Peter Oliver

The declaration of King George III of the United Kingdom that America is in an active state of rebellion in August 23, 1775, marked the opportunity for Britain's 13 colonies in the country to be liberated from British colonialism. The path towards rebellion in America is an arduous process, where there had been a series of economic and political pressures that Britain had imposed in order to maintain control over the gradually rebelling members of the colonies.

What made the study of the history of the American Revolution interesting is that there are numerous literatures illustrating the political and economic climate between the Americans and British at the time where rebellious ideologies and propaganda are gradually increasing. There had been two factions or groups that characterize individuals that are opposed or in favor of the growing rebellion against Britain and each faction has their own reason or justifications for opposing or siding with Britain on the issue of American rebellion.

In this paper, two discourses on the American rebellion are given focus, representing the factions that are for and against it. Thomas Paine, author of the "Common Sense," represents the American rebellions expressing discontent and want for liberty from Britain. Peter Oliver represents the British side and argues his own opinion of the rebellion in his discourse entitled, "Origin and Progress of the American Rebellion."

It is important to discuss first the ideas of the Americans who started to rebel against Britain in order to have an idea of how colonialism becomes a detriment to a nation's pursuit for more liberal economic and political systems. In the "Common Sense," Paine offers a critique of the British monarchy as his basis for the inefficient leadership that Americans are constitutionally bound to respect and obey.

He defines the monarchy as "the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set foot for the promotion of idolatry." He argues that monarchy is inherently a manifestation of inequality and oppression initiated by humankind (specifically, by Britain), where the difference between the rich and the poor became more pronounced and repressive. Paine argues that oppression due to social class and political control is not permissible since it is not the same as 'male and female distinctions governed by nature' or 'good and bad distinctions in heaven." No way is the monarchy or the political right of the "exalted ones" a natural law of humankind; thus, this means that Britain has no right to govern other lands and promote its interests at the expense of other nations.

He goes on to criticize the individual who is or will become the King for the British monarchy. Paine identifies the King as no different from ordinary men who was only given economic and political privilege upon birth just because he belongs to the same blood lineage as the previous Kings were before him. He criticizes the King as "the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions," having grown "insolent" and "poisoned by importance" due only to the fact that he is to become heir to the throne. The danger, Paine warns, is giving the responsibility of governing Britain and its "business civil and military" on the hands of an individual who was led a life…

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