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Citizen Of The World Essays On Thomas Paine [WORK]

Admittedly in ultra-radical counter-culture there were a number of devoted and purist Paineite ideologues, but for those involved in mass agitation - in the populist 'spin' of radical politics - republicanism was seldom mentioned. While never denying the inspiration provided by 'immortal' Thomas Paine, popular radical leaders ensured that his memory was preserved within a patriotic pantheon in which the universal rights of man were subsumed within the historic and constitutional rights of the freeborn Englishman, the charter of the land. The citizen of the world was honoured as British patriot.

citizen of the world essays on thomas paine

During subsequent stages of the American Revolution, Paine wrote a number of influential newspaper essays, including a famous series, the Crisis, concerned with particular political, economic, and military issues. In order to extend his reputation to Europe, Paine wrote the Letter to the abbé Raynal, on the Affairs of North America (1783), refuting among other concepts of the French philosophes, the assertion that the Revolution concerned only economic issues and had no moral foundation. A confident affirmation of the idea of progress was incorporated in Paine's notions that the circle of civilization was soon to be completed and that commerce and science had already combined to improve the world to the point where there no longer existed a need to make war for profit.

The "citizen of the world," Thomas Paine rose from a lower class Quaker home in England to become one of the most influential radical minds of the late 18th century. After working as a corset maker -- his father's trade -- and as a tax collector, Paine immigrated to Philadelphia in 1774, and quickly immersed himself in revolutionary agitation. A naturally persuasive writer, his pamphlet, Common Sense (Philadelphia, 1776), became a siren call for American independence. In eminently clear, straightforward language, it outlined an argument for the superiority of republican government over a monarchy and demanded legal and political equality for all citizens. Furthermore, Paine asserted that his argument extended beyond the narrow conditions of colonial America, envisioning an international struggle for civil and human rights. Common Sense sold as many as 150,000 copies in 1776, and within a year, had been translated into French.

I am an OIF Veteran and after witnessing the harsh reality of the Iraq War first hand, I believe these wars will undermine this nation and also reduce our influence throughout the globe by undermining our citizens rights and freedoms to which the world has always looked upon as a beacon of hope. Charanjit - NY

Although ACLU's efforts are true and noble, and at the top of the heap when it comes to fighting for our rights and freedoms. I truly believe that there is only one way to rid ourselves of an invasion by corporations, their lobbyists and the typical meat-puppet politicians which sell out to the corporations long before they enter office. (excluding a small hand-full) This type of systemic fraud and misleading of the American people while stealing from us daily and murdering in our name and with our tax dollars for plain greed and corporate profit, and nothing more elegant than that, IS in fact, the very core and cancer of a great nation and "democracy". This act which is now allowed by our supreme court gives the greedy corporations the right to buy our "leaders". This is nothing short of treason - as described by our constitution - and we must rise and hold all accountable for such acts, and for the mass murder of millions of world citizens, including our own who continue to be misled into senseless wars for the advancement of big business. This change must include a free press, of which there is none of because mainstream media is also owned by the corporations. Evil lurks in darkness so, we must be sure that a free press will be there always, to serve as our beacon of light. Without it, there can be no democracy, but only the illusion of one. Thank you Felix - TX

Defending Americans means making sure our government must obey by it's own laws and respect the rights of all citizens, and people worldwide..This means an end to worldwide wars, unconstitutional surveillance of Americans, and racist policies. We can not allow our government to target peaceful citizens who are involved in community activism. If we want freedom, we must demand freedom for everyone to live in peace. Kathryn - WA

There are few things worse than revenge on a personal and a national level. For the past ten years we have been perpetuate a grim regime of pay--back on innocent people who had absolutely nothing to do with the tragic events of 9/11. Wwe ghave got to stop it and stop it now if we expect to have any moral standing in the world. I can't figure out what has happened in this country that we are so afraid. Life can not be lived that way and a nation's leaders should not play on the fears of their citizens We all, members of the ACLU must continue to raise our voices in the lonely cry for freedom or else we are without a shred of integrity in this missed-up time that we live in. Kennan - CO

9/11 was a tragedy, but it has devolved into an an excuse for a loss of personal freedom, spying by the government on its own citizens, and worst of all 2 wars that have cost too many lives, our moral position in the world and helped create the greatest debt in history. We do the memories of those who died a profound disservice by our continued insistance that any act done in the name of those victims serves a rightous cause. It is time to put 9/11, as cause for an ill concieved crusade, behind us and attempt to return to the economic stability, moral integrity and the fredoms that have been corrupted in the name of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Leigh - KS

More than half of the Arab World will soon join us as free citizens of the world. It's time to inspire them with our own resolve to protect freedom just as they have inspired us in the past year. Nicolas - CA

Are we truly safer after unleashing a huge military initiative and creating wars in the world? How long before our military trained law enforcement sees citizens as enemies just as soldiers in the military do? Must we lose our liberties to make us safe? An amorphous "war on terror" shows no clear enemy, will we citizens become the enemy, as the Patriot Act continues to remove our individual human rights? Raymond - MD

I was in Paris at the time of the flight, or abdication of Louis XVI., and when he was taken and brought back. The proposal of restoring him to supreme power struck me with amazement; and although at that time I was not a French citizen, yet as a citizen of the world I employed all the efforts that depended on me to prevent it.

It is somewhat extraordinary that the idea of my not being a citizen of America should have arisen only at the time that I am imprisoned in France because, or on the pretence that, I am a foreigner. The case involves a strange contradiction of ideas. None of the Americans who came to France whilst I was in liberty had conceived any such idea or circulated any such opinion; and why it should arise now is a matter yet to be explained. However discordant the late American Minister G. M. [Gouverneur Morris] and the late French Committee of Public Safety were, it suited the purpose of both that I should be continued in arrestation. The former wished to prevent my return to America, that I should not expose his misconduct; and the latter, lest I should publish to the world the history of its wickedness. Whilst that Minister and the Committee continued I had no expectation of liberty. I speak here of the Committee of which Robespierre was member.(1)

It is right that I furnish you with these circumstances. It is the effect of my anxiety that the character of America suffer no reproach; for the world knows that I have acted a generous duty by her. I am the third American that has been imprisoned. Griffiths nine weeks, Haskins about five, and myself eight [months] and yet in prison. With respect to the two former there was then no Minister, for I consider Morris as none; and they were liberated on the applications of the Americans in Paris. As to myself I had rather be publicly and honorably reclaimed, tho' the reclamation was refused, than remain in the uncertain situation that I am. Though my health has suffered my spirits are not broken. I have nothing to fear unless innocence and fortitude be crimes. America, whatever may be my fate, will have no cause to blush for me as a citizen; I hope I shall have none to blush for her as a country. If, my dear Sir, there is any-thing in the perplexity of ideas I have mistaken, only suppose yourself in my situation, and you will easily find an excuse for it. I need not say how much I shall rejoice to pay my respects to you without-side the walls of this prison, and to enquire after my American friends. But I know that nothing can be accomplished here but by unceasing perseverance and application. Yours affectionately.

There was a time when the fame of America, moral and political, stood fair and high in the world. The lustre of her revolution extended itself to every individual; and to be a citizen of America gave a title to respect in Europe. Neither meanness nor ingratitude had been mingled in the composition of her character. Her resistance to the attempted tyranny of England left her unsuspected of the one, and her open acknowledgment of the aid she received from France precluded all suspicion of the other. The Washington of politics had not then appeared.

A plan upon this principle would benefit the revolution by the energy that springs from the consciousness of justice. It would multiply also the national resources; for property, like vegetation, increases by offsets. When a young couple begin the world, the difference is exceedingly great whether they begin with nothing or with fifteen pounds apiece. With this aid they could buy a cow, and implements to cultivate a few acres of land; and instead of becoming burdens upon society, which is always the case where children are produced faster than they can be fed, would be put in the way of becoming useful and profitable citizens. The national domains also would sell the better if pecuniary aids were provided to cultivate them in small lots.


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