The Analysis of the Literary Works of Thomas Paine, Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin
In this essay I will be discussing four different literary selections.This essay will analyze and explain what each story is about.This paper will also break down the author’s reason for writing the literary works and I will explain those reasons.
Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” was a pamphlet that was inspired the thirteen colonies to take up arms against the British.This pamphlet was such a hit because he wrote it in a way that common people would be able to understand it.He relied on Biblical references while trying to make his point clear to his audience. Thomas Paine laid out all his thoughts and ideas into this pamphlet so the people could really see his way of doing things. Thomas wrote in style that was often intended to arouse his reader.For example, in his pamphlet he said, “Why is it that we hesitate?From Britain we can expect nothing but ruin.If she is admitted to the government of America again,this continent will not be worth living in.”In this quote Thomas Paine wrote this because he wanted them to be motivated and excited or angry.
In Jonathan Edwards “Sinners in the hand of an angry God” the goal was to teach his listeners about the terrors of hell and the dangers of sinning.The main point was that God has given humans a chance to address all their sins since he has been holding back because he is giving them an opportunity to fix their ways and get back to Christ.God is the one giving everyone chances to do right and Edwards make that very clear.For instance, Edwards said, “Death outwitted me:God’s wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness!”.In this quote Edwards was saying that it is urgent that people get right with quick because they never know when death might overcome them.
“The Way to Wealth” by Benjamin Franklin was published to give advice on how to have a healthy and wealthy life.In this book Franklin said, “Early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise”.Basically, Benjamin was saying that everybody can sleep during the day, but what would you get do?Nothing at all.Therefore, this quote is saying if you get up early, you will be able to get things done and make more money.This book brought out that wealth is obtained by hard work and dedication.Without those two key components, you will not reach wealthiness.
In the literary selection “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America by Benjamin Franklin it was talking about the savages and how they called them that because their mannerism was different from the others.However, Franklin was bringing out that they should not treat somebody different because that person’s background or culture is not the same as theirs.Just because somebody is different it doesn’t make it wrong.They are not lesser of a normal person because they stand out.You actually might learn something valuable from them.
A Phenomenon of Thomas Paine’s Iron Bridge
The term “political economy” refers to the study of trade and production and their relations with law, custom, and the government, as well as the distribution of national income. It is the role of public policy in influencing the economic and social welfare of a political unit, such as the United States. Since many individuals and groups had different interests in how an economy of a country should develop, there were many diverse ways by which they believed an appropriate government by their definition could lead to economic prosperity. One specific individual who had a certain view on how the United States’ political economy should develop, is Thomas Paine. Not only a political activist and revolutionary, Thomas Paine was also a creative problem solver and an architect of iron bridges, as author Edward Gray illustrates throughout his novel, Tom Paine’s Iron Bridge: Building a United States. Although Thomas Paine was not generally thought of as a nation-builder, his iron bridge demonstrates that that is precisely what he was, as he applied his bridge design to both preserving the union and physically connecting American land. By using efficient economic resources such as the small bars of iron to construct a bridge that allowed for vast movement and more political communication, the bridge thus allowed for further development of a political economy and ultimate economic prosperity for the public good.
There are several ways in which Paine’s iron bridge design contributed to economic aspects of the 18th century. As a way to unite the infant country, Paine applied his amateur design skills of building the iron bridge to the concept of physically connecting American land. Understanding that the nation’s many rivers were standing in the way of commerce and ways of transportation, Paine therefore saw the need to bridge them together. However, certain problems arose in the process of designing the bridge. Before iron came to be used to build bridges in the United States, bridges were mainly built with wood. Problems always hindered the maintenance of these bridges as wood caused decay due to factors such as moisture, wet weather, growing scarcity of long, hard timbers, and simply the difficulty to preserve the bridge. As a result, Paine realized the most effective way to construct the bridge is to build it with iron in the form of small hand-wrought iron bars, as it also influenced economic interests. By building bridges from these many small parts rather than few large ones, the construction of bridges became a more flexible enterprise. “Among the advantages of this construction,” Paine wrote, “is that of rendering the construction of bridges into a portable manufacture, as the bars and parts of which it is composed need not be longer or larger than is convenient to be stowed in a vessel, boat, or wagon” (105-106). Paine discusses how this new adjustable scheme allows for quicker and easier movement of parts that can be conveniently stored in spaces no larger than a wagon. Moreover, by designing a permanent single-arch bridge constructed of iron, Paine made architecture and engineering exportable commodities where they could be erected “wherever the need for such a structure arose” (105). Everything traveled more quickly and more cheaply by water, which made the process of commerce move more swiftly as people were now able to carry their heavyweight goods across a bridge efficiently.
Along with the economic features of the bridge, such as the use of small bars of iron that allow for better commercial efficiency, the bridge also provided other factors that connected with political aspects of the growing nation. As a man of the Enlightenment and American revolutionary, Thomas Paine believed that economic prosperity for the public good could be achieved through political change that was grounded on democracy and liberty. However, since free individuals of a large territory were naturally prone to governing themselves without the intervention of distant authorities, it would become very difficult to bind together America’s individual parts into a single political society (10). As history shows, the only way a nation’s separate parts could be unified is through tyranny, which has been proven to ultimately fail. Thus, without the bridge, there was no way of connecting such fragmented parts of land and people within the United States that would enduringly last. As a result of this dispute, “Free societies,” Paine asserts, “would work only insofar as their citizens could communicate with one another” (9). Alexis de Tocqueville, a French student of American democracy, agrees with Paine’s claim and states that “the most powerful, infallible way of increasing the prosperity of a country is to favor by all possible means a free intercourse among its inhabitants” (11). Through a physical establishment of infrastructure, such as Paine’s iron bridge, individuals are able to freely interact no matter the distance. The concept of the iron bridge encouraged the freedom of movement as the bridge freed individuals to better themselves and their communities. Farmers, merchants, and craftspeople for instance were able to move freely through the countryside, and as a result could prosper and become true citizens with a greater interest in the political nation. Paine responds to his political challenge and proves that the iron bridge was the only way of sustaining a republic as vast and geographically fragmented as the United States.
Through Thomas Paine’s design of the iron bridge, he was able to establish an architectural system that both preserved the union and connected the vast land of the United States, contributing to his development of a political economy by which aspects of political thought and economic policy were applied in building a United States. Although Paine’s schemes for the iron bridge ultimately failed, his visions persisted throughout the country as his political and economic ideas were vital assets to satisfying the public good and thus allowing for overall prosperity. By using more tactical materials such as the small bars of iron to construct a bridge that allowed for vast movement and more efficient communication, Paine succeeded in creating a form of infrastructure that generated political change that was also intended to affect the economy in a progressive manner.
The Most Influential People of American History
One of the most influential people of American history, that really left a mark, is Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was a statesman, author, publisher, scientist, inventor and a diplomat. As one of the founding fathers among other six, he was selected one to draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776. having his acomplishments as a high praised man in social circles Benjamin Franklin really left an impact with his “self-help books”. “The Way To Wealth”, is an essay, so to say, to accomplish great wealth throughout life time. This essay shows, even today, his great talent for getting out with his opinions on wealth and how should money be spent and earned. Being able to write such contributional work like that is, in order to mock the upper classes, and their way of life through his fictional character Poor Richard, is what really made Benjamin Franklin one of the greatest contributors in literature. Off course, being a diplomat, made him a national hero for peace. He signed the Treaty of Paris, which stopped a Revolutionary War. Benjamin Franklin was a contributor in many ways for his country, and being a man of honesty and integrity, he was not so much identified as a man of worship for others. Benjamin Franklin changed the course of writing and literature in general in America. He was a man of his own business, where he owned a printing machine, and could publish and print any kind of his works, and why he got so much involved in civic affairs. He was able to expand his printing business and to become so successful to stop working. That is when he started his interest in science. He was an amazing scientist and inventor, his experiments on electricity are used even today. Benjamin Franklin was able to invent a lightning rod, which protected buildings and houses from fires caused by lightnings. He had a great contribution even in music. But his instrument unfortunately fell out of use at the beginning of the 19th century. Benjamin Franklin was a man of high wealth and was very praised in society, and one of the greatest contributors for “better tomorrow”.
St. John de Crevecoeur was another great contributor for America, but a man with the most mysterious life. He came to America in 1759, where he changed his name to Hector and fell in love with America. St. John de Crevecoeur has made a broad picture of what it is to have a life in “ A New World”, and try to accomplish something. His biggest contribution lies in literature, as being a writer of such talent to write amazing essays as commentaries on America in general but also the way of living in America. His work “From Letters from an American Farmer”, is what really contributed in creating the idealization of the myth in America, and an insight on European view of another world, as a place of serenity and plenty which left a drastic mark on the views of new worlds. Making a wider specter for life of one people and their culture and their social and political power. His most influential essay is “What is an American”, where he shows the American life in contrast to the European. America is described as a land of opportunity and a better life, and a combination of many nationalities which make a national identity. Making a contribution to the views of life in America and giving an insight from his point of view, can be said that American myth and nationality became today.
Thomas Paine was an English-American political actiist, philosopher, political theorist and a revolutionist. Being one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he was the author of two pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense is one of the most amazing works and the most influental literary work that turned the population of America. In his work he makes a description of supporting independence from England. Since it was written, as the title says, for “common people”, it was not just written for the high class people but for everyone. Contribution of Thomas Paine, apart for being one of the Founding Fathers, and one of the important diplomats of the decade, his literary works were relatable to everyone. Even the average person could hear the Common Sense. Even though his Common Sense starts with more of a general feeling for goverment, later he starts making some specifics on colonial situations, which made a real contribution for everyone to understand the real truth of war and what is really being fought for, and the way goverment works. Paine tried to make a statement on making a democratic republic in this work, which goverment did not really appreciate. Thomas Paine was really a great contributor for American social and political ways of understanding and shaping the country as it should be.
America According to Thomas Paine Views
Response to Thomas Paine’s Passage
The author of Rights of Man, Thomas Paine, came to America in the later years of his life proving that he could only characterize America to some extent. He couldn’t have possibly lived in America long enough to attest that America was a perfect place where everyone lived peacefully with one another. In no way was America a perfect place where the rich were not privileged, nor where the government was just, and riots and tumults were not engendered. Even though, Paine was correct about a couple characterizations of America in 1791 that still hold true to today.
Thomas Paine came over to America and participated in the American Revolution. In a contextual sense, a revolution is a riot blown out of proportion. Paine himself believed that “there [was] nothing to engender riots and tumults.” If there weren’t problems to “engender riots and tumults,” then why would Paine participate in the American Revolution? Even though America wasn’t called America until after the Revolution, Paine still lived on this land during a time where the people were not at peace. Paine most likely believed that the American Revolution took place so that no other problems would arise. But yet, during his time in America, slavery was becoming an issue. Because Paine didn’t see how there could be anything to “engender riots and tumults” in America back then, he couldn’t have conjured up any idea of the problems America would have today. So what about Occupy Wall Street? Occupy Wall Street has been going on for almost 5 months. People sick of corporate influence on democracy have taken to living in parks around Wall Street in order to get their message that corporate America is forgetting about the little people in America, and they want to get that message across the to government. The government could not have caused such tumult by doing nothing wrong. And likewise, it seems we have forgotten about the document in which this country was built off of.
With the constitution just starting to go into effect only a few years prior to 1791, Thomas Paine again has no right to consider the government just when it is just starting out. The constitution wasn’t completely ratified by all the states until January of 1791. Anytime before then, not every state was happy with the constitution or believed it to be just. Back in 1791, the government may have been constructed “on the principles of society and the rights of man,” but nowadays that isn’t the case. The whole point of the government back then was not to be too involved in the lives of the everyday people. Nowadays, it seems that that’s all the government does. Take the 2012 presidential election. Whenever you turn on the TV it seems some presidential candidate has something to say. And you can’t drive anywhere without seeing a Mitt Romney sign on someone’s lawn or a Rick Santorum sign somewhere else. And these campaigns aren’t run on the quality of the candidate anymore but are based off of who has more money to go and campaign in one state of another. Jon Hunstman Jr. was a worthy candidate but had to drop out because he didn’t have enough money to campaign in Virginia and other states. All government is run by now is money and who has more of it. None of these should be qualities in a government, and they certainly don’t sound like the qualities of a just government.
Thomas Paine characterized America as a place where the rich are not privileged. Take Warren Buffet for example. Buffet is the richest man in America and yet his secretary pays more taxes than him. How is that fair? Also, people with big names and money have ties to the community and can get out of problems just because of who they are. Take Lindsay Lohan for example. Lohan got sentenced to jail for 30 days for violating her probation. She spent no more than 5 hours in jail before she was released. If that was any other no-name face going to jail for violating their probation then they would’ve had to have stayed there for the entire 30 days.
Although Paine may have been wrong about some characteristics of America, he was right about others. Paine generalized that America was [and is], “[m]ade up, as it is, of people from different nations, accustomed to different forms and habits of government, speaking different languages, and more different in their modes of worship.” Back in 1791, the United States was home to white people, as well as black people, slaves or not, and some citizens of other races. Nowadays, America has accumulated a number of people from all types of races, more than in 1791. Then again, in 1791, the Louisiana Purchase had not been negotiated yet and manifest destiny wasn’t even thought of. Even though, Paine’s statement holds true today. We have American citizens that are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Indian, Pacific Islanders, and others as well.
Thomas Paine’s generalization is not enough to characterize America accurately. Paine came over to America to join in the American Revolution and can in no way say that there was nothing to engender riots and tumults, nor could he know whether the government is just or unjust since the constitution was ratified by the final state in January of 1791. Also, Thomas Paine is just a man who couldn’t possibly know whether the rich are privileged or not, living in a world where there is no technology it is hard to hear about someone’s situation in Massachusetts when you are living in Georgia. For the time that Thomas Paine lived in America, his general statement is somewhat true to a certain extent, yet the statement all together is inaccurate for he couldn’t have known that much about America as a whole when he himself wasn’t actually an American.