Compare the backgrounds of Jefferson and Paine; did Paine have an advantage or disadvantage by not being born in the colonies? Explain.

  

Read Chapters 5 – 6. Pay special attention to the Common Sense excerpt in the Voices of Freedom box in Chapter 5. Also, read the Declaration of Independence in the Appendix of your textbook. You may use Chapter 5 as background material on Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. Once all reading is complete, respond to the following items:Compare the backgrounds of Jefferson and Paine; did Paine have an advantage or disadvantage by not being born in the colonies? Explain.Examine the language used in both documents; who is the audience for each writer?Why does Jefferson not discuss slavery in the Declaration?What do Paine and Jefferson say about the monarchy in their respective documents?Why does Jefferson focus more on the king than parliament?

Introduction:
In the United States, the Declaration of Independence is one of the most iconic documents in history. It was written by Thomas Jefferson and declared the separation of the thirteen American colonies from Great Britain. However, it was not the only influential document produced during that time. In this assignment, we will explore Chapter 5-6 of our textbook, with a focus on two of the most famous writers of the American Revolution – Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson. We will compare their backgrounds, analyze their language and audience, and explore their views on the monarchy.

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Description:
Chapter 5-6 of our textbook is a must-read for anyone interested in American history. It introduces us to Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom played key roles in shaping the American Revolution. The chapter contains valuable information on the writings of these two men, including the Common Sense excerpt by Paine and the Declaration of Independence by Jefferson. These documents are analyzed in-depth, with a particular focus on the language used and the intended audience. Additionally, the chapter explores how the backgrounds of Paine and Jefferson influenced their writing, and why they chose to exclude certain topics from their works. By the end of this assignment, students should have a better understanding of the motivations and beliefs of two of America’s most celebrated revolutionaries.

Objectives:

1. To understand the significance of reading Chapters 5 and 6 of the textbook.
2. To analyze and compare the backgrounds of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.
3. To examine the language used in the Declaration of Independence and Common Sense and determine their respective audience.
4. To discuss the absence of slavery in the Declaration of Independence.
5. To compare and contrast the views of Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson regarding the monarchy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will gain an understanding of the importance of studying historical texts and events.
2. Students will be able to compare and contrast the background of two important figures in American history.
3. Students will be able to analyze and interpret primary source documents, and identify the intended audience of each document.
4. Students will be able to explain the absence of slavery in the Declaration of Independence and its implications.
5. Students will be able to compare and contrast the views of Paine and Jefferson on the subject of the monarchy and explain why Jefferson focuses more on the king.

Heading: Overview

1. Understand the importance of studying historical events and documents.
2. Compare and contrast the backgrounds of Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.

Heading: Language and Audience

3. Analyze the language used in the Declaration of Independence and Common Sense.
4. Determine the intended audience of each document.

Heading: Slavery and Monarchy

5. Explain the absence of slavery in the Declaration of Independence.
6. Compare the views of Paine and Jefferson on the subject of the monarchy and explain why Jefferson focuses more on the king.

Solution 1:

Backgrounds of Jefferson and Paine

Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine were two significant thinkers who had a profound impact on American history. Jefferson was born into a wealthy Virginia family in 1743 and received an excellent education, including studying law. He eventually became a prominent lawyer, politician, and diplomat and was one of the main authors of the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Paine, on the other hand, was born in England in 1737 and had a relatively simple education. Although he failed in several professions, he eventually became an influential writer and played a key role in shaping American political thought.

Did Paine have an advantage or disadvantage by not being born in the colonies?

Paine’s lack of ties to the colonial elite gave him more freedom to criticize the British monarchy and advocate for radical changes. However, he also lacked the connections and resources that someone like Jefferson had access to, which may have limited his ability to achieve political change.

Examine the language used in both documents; who is the audience for each writer?

Both Jefferson and Paine used language that was designed to appeal to a broad audience of colonists who were already hostile to British rule. Jefferson’s language in the Declaration of Independence is more formal and legalistic, reflecting his background as a lawyer. Paine, in contrast, used a more conversational and persuasive style in Common Sense, which was designed to appeal to a wider audience of common citizens.

Why does Jefferson not discuss slavery in the Declaration?

Despite the ringing phrases in the Declaration of Independence about “all men are created equal,” Jefferson did not directly address the issue of slavery. This was likely due to the fact that many of the Southern colonies depended on slave labor and were not yet willing to give it up.

Solution 2:

What do Paine and Jefferson say about the monarchy in their respective documents?

In Common Sense, Paine attacked the very idea of monarchy and argued that it was illogical for one person to have absolute power. He called for the establishment of a democratic republic in America that would allow for greater individual liberties.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson also criticized the monarchy but focused more specifically on King George III and his abuses of power. He argued that the king was a tyrant who had violated the colonists’ natural rights, such as their right to have a say in legislation that affected them.

Why does Jefferson focus more on the king than parliament?

Jefferson and the other authors of the Declaration of Independence likely focused on the king rather than Parliament because the king was seen as the ultimate source of authority in the British government. Parliament, in contrast, was seen as a separate body that might be more open to compromise or negotiation. By attacking the king, Jefferson and his colleagues were making a more forceful and unequivocal statement about their independence from Great Britain.

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