Before 1700 – 1820
1. In the era of 1700 – 1820, there were many changes concerning the rule of law. Many countries embraced religion more than in previous years. There were also changes in terms of ruling dynasties. This made more people turn on a higher power with their problems. This is with the hopes of a better life. After the invention of the printing press, more written material was available. The writing in this era clearly shows the importance of divine authority. Authors were able to point out the existence of a higher being. They talked of the ruling authorities and a higher being. Through their writing, they are able to express the impact that the authority had on their subjects. They refer to the good that divine authority has brought. They also show how it brings a difference in human beings. They provide guidance to man. Divine authority is paramount it provides a rule over everyone else. Therefore, there is no anarchy. All these can be read from the publications from this era.
2. Tecumseh and Thomas Paine were both extremely talented authors. Though they were authors from different eras, they addressed similar issues. There are uncanny similarities between the two. Both address and share similar opinions regarding independence. They also refer to divine authority. Thus, both writers had similar ideologies despite being from different generations. In terms of stylistic devices, the writers were also highly similar. They used similes to compare different things. There is also the use of many metaphors in both writings. There is also the use of paradox especially when they address independence. Both writers have similar views of life. They would like to correct injustices through their writing. Through their work, they have enlightened people about the importance of one ridding themselves of enemies.
3. Through poetry, a writer’s view can be expressed with the help of stylistic language. In On Being Brought from Africa to America, Phillis Wheatley talks of an African’s journey to America. The poem is about slavery. The poem To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet is about a lover that is not with her husband. She is writing to her husband to remind him how much she loves him. Both poems have referred to a divine authority. The authors refer to the authority as a savior in both cases. They both recognize the power of a higher being. They respect the fact that the being has more power than they do. For instance, Bradstreet writes in stanza 3, “The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.” This shows that the writer recognizes the existence of a divine authority. She prays to the heavens to reward her. In the poem, the poet portrays that the higher authority has more power. Therefore, people pray to Him so that they get what their heart desires. Wheatley also recognizes the existence of divine authority by writing in stanza 10, “That there is a God, that there’s a Savior too:” The poets, therefore, acknowledge that divine authority exists. This is referenced in the different stanzas in their poems.
Thomas Paine’s from Common Sense
1. Paine cited a number of things in Common Sense. The writer wanted to highlight the form of civilization and rule that was currently ruling. He wanted to cite the role in which monarchies are playing in the world. According to him, he felt the colonies should fight for their independence. He wanted the colonies to realize that they can be independent of the British rule. He writes,
“First. — The remains of monarchical tyranny in the person of the king.
Secondly. — The remains of aristocratically tyranny in the persons of the peers.
Thirdly. — The new republican materials, in the persons of the commons, on whose virtue depends the freedom of England” (Paine, 1953).
These refer to how he viewed the British rule over the colonies. These are the basic ideas that are found in Common Sense. The writer hoped to open the eyes of the colonies. He wanted them to fight to reclaim their independence.
Common Sense influenced the colonists in a positive way. It gave the colonized the strength to start a rebellion against the colonialists. It provided them with the necessary confidence boost they needed to rebel. The writer, Paine, showed the oppressed that England had no right to deny them their rights. They were human beings just like any other person in the world. Therefore, they should be treated the same as other people. This pamphlet played a vital role in motivating colonists. It gave them the boost they need to fight for equality in the country. Colonists were able to find ways to secede from Britain’s rule. The pamphlet mocked the way the colonialist ruled people. It made them realize that they can do a better job by themselves. The people in the thirteen colonies were able to find strength in this pamphlet. They got the jolt they needed to form a resistance against the British government.
2. Within the colonies, the majority were not educated while others were lowly educated and could not understand complex language. Thus, the author used straightforward language in order to reach the masses and enable them to have an association with the author and his ideas. This included short sentences and a basic structure and paragraphs that communicated each idea. To drive his point home he further used a visual appeal for easier understanding.
The actions of the people having read the pamphlet depended on their understanding of what was written. The majority did not have any idea or thought that they could rise against the British. To convince the people within the colonies of the reasons why they needed to fight for freedom, he analyzed the English government at considerable length but in a comprehensible manner. He described all the tyrannies within the English government that only oppressed the people instead of existing for their benefit. He described the relationship between a society and a government in order to show how much the English government for America was wrong and unfit. He went as far as to describe a representative democracy that would be appropriate for America, as opposed to the monarchical and heredity government employed by the British. However, throughout these assertions, he utilized very clear descriptive terms easily understood by his readers.
The author knew exceedingly well that he had to relate with the audience in order to convince them to rise against the British. He showed in his pamphlet that he understood what the colonized people were going through as well as their needs and desires. Some of the common issues he projected were suggestions that England being an island had no right to rule a whole continent. More so, America was not a British country, and it comprised of many diverse people. Hence, Britain had no right to rule and treat people with such cruelty. By demonstrating this comprehension, he proved that his idea was the solution to their problems.
Paine, Thomas. Common Sense and Other Political Writings. New York: Liberal Arts Press, 1953. Print.
Wheatley, Phillis. On Being Brought from Africa to America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
Bradstreet, Anne. To My Dear & Loving Husband. 13 Mar. 2009. Web. 15 Jan. 2013.