Common Sense and Letters From Term Paper

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Paine writes, "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence, the palaces of kings are build on the ruins of the bowers of paradise" (Paine pp).

For all his utopian depictions of colonial life, John de Crevecouer does write realistically of slavery, and like Paine's government comparison, Crevecouer also describes a loss of societal morals to commerce, concerning the issue of slavery. Of Carolina, he writes,

Carolina produces commodities, more valuable perhaps than gold, because they are gained by greater industry; it exhibits also on our northern stage, a display of riches and luxury, inferior indeed to the former, but far superior to what are to be seen in our northern towns" (Crevecouer 166).

He then goes into great length regarding the lifestyle of the citizens, describing their homes, how they feast and dine, enjoy luxuries and galas, and how this entire culture and commerce is built on the backs of slaves. He claims, "they neither see, hear, nor feel for the woes of their poor slaves, from whose painful labours all their wealth proceeds. Here the horrors of slavery, the hardship of incessant toils, are unseen" (Crevecouer 168).

Paine writes that as emigrants arrive and become comfortable within their lives, society will change, stating, it will unavoidably happen, that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other; and this remissness, will point out the necessity, of establishing some form of government to supply the defect of moral virtue" (Paine pp).

While describing the monarchy, Paine wonders how a race of men came into the world so exalted above the rest, and distinguished like some new species, and whether they are the means of happiness or of misery to mankind (Paine pp).

Paine was more a man of reason than John de Crevecouer.
Paine never swayed in his writings, never contradicted, never flowered or over-demonized an issue. John de Crevecouer writes that there are few crimes and life is seemingly ideal, however, his writings of slavery are filled with graphic details of horrendous practices, and believes that it would be more humane if slaves were not allowed to father children because this only increased their misery. Paine would have spared the details and simply called for an end of slavery.

Thomas Paine was a man of action, while Hector St. John de Crevecouer was an observer. Paine sounded the alarm, while Crevecouer chronicled. However, Crevecouer might be considered more a republican than Paine, because Paine was more anit-government, not merely anti-monarchy. Both wrote passionately about the new nation in which they lived and both writings are important documents for future generations, yet, Paine's work appears to have more value regarding the history of America and its call for independence, while Crevecouer's is a journal of American life, including minute details of everyday existence. One is a call for arms, while the other propagandizes.

Works Cited

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense. http://earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/commonsense/text.html

Hector St. John de Crevecouer. Letters from an American Farmer; and,

Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America. Penguin Books. 1981; Pp. 67, 68,….....

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