R R Fennessy's Burke, Paine, and the Rights of Man: A Difference of PDF

By R R Fennessy

ISBN-10: 9401523878

ISBN-13: 9789401523875

ISBN-10: 9401536376

ISBN-13: 9789401536370

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161. THOMAS PAINE 33 from endless wars, and groan under oppressive laws? Obviously because these things were imposed by selfish, despotic rulers who governed only for their own benefit. Nature had provided plenty for all, and meant men to prosper by cooperation and trade. Why then did so many men live in poverty and distress? Because of heavy taxation and arbitrary restrictions of trade imposed by the same rulers. Nature meant all men to live in friendship: why did they hate and persecute one another?

This method of solving a difficult or controversial question by reducing it to a simplified form is constantly employed in Paine's writings. No doubt this is one reason why they were so popular and influential. If Paine is important as a political writer it is not because he contributed anything to political theory but because he removed the problems of politics from the discussions of theorists and lawyers and stated them in terms that were intelligible to the farmer, the shopkeeper, and the artisan.

Crisis III, The Writings, I, 200. Common Sense, The Writings, I, 90-91. , 100. THOMAS PAINE 37 Such, in brief, are the political ideas which were destined, so Paine believed, to change the whole world, including his own native land. III. PAINE'S HOPES OF A POLITICAL REFORMATION IN ENGLAND HIS RETURN TO EUROPE Hopes for England The new political reformation had begun in America, and Paine was not without hope that it would soon spread to Europe: Should the present revolution be distinguished by opening a new system of extended civilization, it will receive from heaven the highest evidence of approbation; and as this is a subject to which the abbe's powers are so eminently suited, I recommend it to his attention with the affection of a friend, and the ardour of a universal citizen.

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Burke, Paine, and the Rights of Man: A Difference of Political Opinion by R R Fennessy


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