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american sense of mission essay

american sense of mission essayAmerican sense of mission essay -Click here for standards and skills for this lesson.Option 1: “if separated” from Britain Option 2: “if dependent on Britain” Why didn’t he use the usual terms for the two options — “independence” and “reconciliation”?He “answers roundly” (with conviction) that the colonies’ growth was actually hampered by being part of a European empire.No matter how lowly or majestic their origins, they enter life with three God-given RIGHTS — the right to live, to right to live free, and the right to live happily (or, at the least, to pursue Happiness on earth). So treasured are these rights that man created government to protect them. His audience would understand “common sense” to suggest the moral sense of the yeoman farmer, whose independence and clear-headedness made him a more reliable guardian of national virtue (similar to Jefferson’s agrarian ideal).This was a radical premise in 1776, but one that buttressed Paine’s argument for independence I have heard it asserted by some that as America hath flourished under her former connection with Great Britain, that the same connection is necessary towards her future happiness, and will always have the same effect.They include references to farming, tree cutting, hunting, land ownership, slavery, biblical scripture, family and neighbor bonds, maturation, and the parent-child relationship; see “The Metaphor of Youth” below.) By referring the matter from argument to arms, a new area for politics is struck; a new method of thinking hath arisen.With the “on”–”off” contrast, he suggests that you, the individual reader, are open-minded and thus a fellow man of honor willing to consider a new point of view.Also, as an almanac ceases to be useful at a specific moment (midnight of December 31), Paine implies that reconciliation ceased to be a valid goal at the moment of the first shot on April 19, 1775.What impression of and the Appendix to the Third Edition (pp.We do not recommend assigning the full essay (Sections I, II, and IV require advanced background in British history that Paine’s readers would have known well).By January 1776, the American colonies were in open rebellion against Britain.That’s the self-image Paine wants to foster in his readers. [See the activity below, “The Metaphor of Youth”.] In this vein, Paine chose DEPENDENCE instead of RECONCILIATION for Option 2 (staying with Britain). His technique was to argue with ideas while convincing with emotion.Be willing to put aside pre-conceived notions, he says, and judge his arguments on their own merits.Till then Things will be done by Halves.” In addition, there remained much discord among the colonies about their shared future.IF PAINE HAD WRITTEN IT: NO man can deny, without abandoning his God-given ability to reason, that all men enter into existence as equals. He announces that his logic will be direct and down to earth, using only “simple facts” and “plain arguments” to explain his position, unlike (he implies) the complex political pamphlets addressed to the educated elite.If so, then why did he choose SEPARATION instead of INDEPENDENCE?PARAGRAPH 59 Paine compares the goal of reconciliation to an “agreeable dream [that has] passed away and left us as we were.” Why doesn’t he aim harsher criticism here at the goal of reconciling with Britain?In human development, separation from one’s parents is the natural and long-sought step to full adulthood.A hyperbole is an overstatement or exaggeration to emphasize a point.Nothing can be more fallacious than this kind of argument.american sense of mission essayIt is our calling to model self-actualized nationhood for the world.But even this is admitting more than is true; for I answer roundly that America would have flourished as much, and probably much more, had no European power had anything to do with her.Proceed to the close reading of three excerpts in the Text Analysis below.Yet few dared voice what most knew was true — they were no longer fighting for their rights as British subjects.The doctrine of Independence hath been in times past greatly disgustful; we abhorred the principle.However, students should be led through an overview of the essay to understand how Paine built his arguments to a “self-evident” conclusion (See Background: Message, below.) We recommend the first interactive exercise, From Resistance to Revolution, to lead students into the revolutionary mindset of 1776.To begin, they could skim the full text and read the pull-quotes (separated quotes in large bold text).“The point to remember,” writes Ferguson, “is that Paine’s natural and intended audience is the American mob….We revere the author and highly prize and admire his works.” — an ultimatum.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.It was an irrevocable decision with unknown consequences.So treasured are they that man is duty-bound to destroy any government that crushes them — and start anew as men worthy of the title of FREE MEN. Why does he write “I offer nothing more” instead of “I offer you many reasons” or “I offer a detailed argument”?— Section III and the Appendix to the Third Edition, published a month after the first edition.Resisting the cause, Paine implies, would be resisting divine will. How does he use repetition to add impact to the first part of the paragraph? “’Tis not” to begin sentences 2 and 3 [anaphora] 2. Discord among us now will escalate into future crises that could ruin the young nation. ’Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; are virtually involved in the contest and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now.He implies that any reader who would refuse to consider his arguments is narrow-minded.Paine ends this paragraph with an analogy: What we do now is like carving initials into the bark of a young oak tree. PARAGRAPH 58 Paine includes multiple repetitions in this paragraph. The adjective “new” in a “new area” and a “new method.” [anaphora] What sound repetitions do you find? What impact does the repetition add to Paine’s delivery?With this in mind, what tone does he lead the reader to expect: cynical, impatient, hopeful, reasonable, impassioned, angry? The two sentences resemble the opening of a legal argument that promises a balanced appraisal of two options on the basis of known evidence (“principles of nature”) and honest ordinary reasoning (“common sense”). Paine means to deflect challenges of bias or extremism by inviting readers to give him a hearing.They would have been more healthy and successful “adults,” he insists, if they had not been the “children” of the British empire.To us, he projects the typical figure of a “Founding Father” — composed, elite, and empowered.In the Text Analysis section, Tier 2 vocabulary words are defined in pop-ups, and Tier 3 words are explained in brackets. For more information on text complexity see these resources from american sense of mission essay Whatever was advanced by the advocates on either side of the question then, terminated in one and the same point, viz. The only difference between the parties was the method of effecting it — the one proposing force, the other friendship; but it hath so far happened that the first hath failed and the second hath withdrawn her influence.But his essay did not offer the same-old-same-old treatise on British heritage and American rights. Ignore the naysayers who tremble at the thought of British might. I know the prospect is daunting, but the prospect of inaction is terrifying.Read the section aloud to hear the insistent rhythm that elevates Paine’s prose to a rousing call to action (his goal in writing ). The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters.In contrast, SEPARATION seems less drastic, and even positive.The teacher’s guide includes a background note, the text analysis responses to the close reading questions, access to the interactive exercises, and a follow-up assignment.As an experienced essayist and a recent English immigrant with his own deep resentments against Britain, Paine was the right man at the right time to galvanize public opinion.(A “touchstone” is a test of the quality or genuineness of something.PARAGRAPH 55 This paragraph begins with one of the most famous hyperboles in American writing.What does he imply by saying a fair reader “will put , the true character of a man”?It is estimated that one fifth of Americans read the pamphlet or heard it read aloud in public. Within weeks, it seemed, reconciliation with Britain had gone from an honorable goal to a cowardly betrayal, while independence became the rallying cry of united Patriots. Over a year elapsed between the outbreak of armed conflict and the Declaration of Independence.Then came Paine, cursing Britain as an “open enemy,” denouncing George III as the “Royal Brute of England,” and damning reconciliation as “truly farcical” and “a fallacious dream.” To think otherwise, he charged, was “absurd,” “unmanly,” and “repugnant to reason.” As Virginian Landon Carter wrote in dismay, Paine implied that anyone who disagreed with him “is nothing short of a coward and a sycophant [stooge/lackey], which in plain meaning must be a damned rascal.” Paine knew what he was doing: the pen was his weapon, and words his ammunition.Paine says this directly in his introduction: “The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” We’re not just talking taxes and representation, people.No one would use last year’s almanac to make plans for the current year!A stirring oratorical rhythm is achieved, like that of a solemn speech or sermon meant to convey the truth and gravity of an argument.First, INDEPENDENCE and RECONCILIATION sound like equally plausible options, but Paine wants to convince you that independence is the only acceptable option.What tone does Paine add with the phrases “The sun never shined” and “even to the end of time”? The sun shining down on human endeavors suggests divine endorsement of the American cause — a cause that will bring light and freedom (“salvation”) to the world. ’Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent – of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe.View it, he says, from an overarching global perspective, not the narrow perspective of American colonists in the late 1700s. The American cause can lead mankind toward enlightened self-determination, driving forward the progress of civilization.Give up reconciliation now, or forever lose the chance for independence.“America has gone such lengths she cannot recede, and I am convinced a few weeks or months at furthest will convince her of the fact, but the fruit must have time to ripen in some of the other Colonies.”“We were blind, but on reading these enlightening works the scales have fallen from our eyes….To examine that connection and dependence, on the principles of nature and common sense, to see what we have to trust to [expect] if separated, and what we are to expect if dependent. Complete the analogy: America staying with Britain would be like a child _______. american sense of mission essay Paine compares the attempts to reconcile with Britain after the Battle of Lexington and Concord to an old almanac. He means the idea of reconciliation is now preposterous and that no rational person could support it.“Nothing more” implies that .) How does Paine ask you to prepare yourself for his “common sense” arguments?Lead students through an initial overview of the essay (see Background).If we fail to act, we’re self-deceiving cowards condemning our children to tyranny and cheating the world of a beacon of liberty.Readers must clear their minds of long-held notions, apply common sense, and adopt the cause of America as the “cause of all mankind.” How we respond to tyranny today will matter for all time. Just as you would cut ties with abusive parents, you must break from Britain. It has brought misery to people all over the world. Why should someone rule over us simply because he (or she) is someone’s child? “We have it in our power to begin the world over again,” he insisted.PARAGRAPH 61 Here Paine challenges his opponents to bring “reconciliation to the touchstone of nature.” What does he mean?The student’s version, an interactive worksheet that can be e-mailed, contains all of the above The man at right does not look angry.“If I’m being fair in my writing, you can try to be fair in your listening.” While Paine promises a fair appraisal, look how he describes the two options in the last sentence.PARAGRAPH 60 Here Paine rebuts the first argument for reconciliation—that America has thrived as a British colony and would fail on her own. “America staying with Britain would be like a child remaining dependent on its parents forever and never growing up.” And who would want that, Paine implies?He uses anger, the natural emotion of the mob, to let the most active groups find themselves in the general will of a republican citizenry.”AS JEFFERSON WROTE IT: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.And to us his famous essays are awash in powdered-wig prose. Thomas Paine was a firebrand, and his most influential essay — appeared as a pamphlet for sale in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776, and, as we say today, it went viral.Here’s what he says in Introduction: The ideas I present here are so new that many people will reject them. Man may need government to protect him from his flawed nature, but that doesn’t mean he must suffocate under brute tyranny. It doesn’t care about us; it cares about Britain’s wealth. Let’s build a Continental Navy as we have built our Continental Army. A month later, in his appendix to the third edition, Paine escalated his appeal to a utopian fervor.“The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.” into four sections with deceptively mundane titles, mimicking the erudite political pamphlets of the day.With this paragraph, Paine begins his argument against reconciliation and does not want to insult or alienate his readers at the outset.Say a bold thing that will stagger them, and they will begin to think.”.All plans, proposals, etc., prior to the nineteenth of April, i.e., to the commencement of hostilities [Lexington and Concord], are like the almanacs of the last year which, though proper [accurate] then, are and useless now.Everyone can hope, he implies: there’s nothing wrong with that, but we have to move on if a hope proves fruitless.It is now become our delightful theme and commands our purest affections.He argued with ideas while convincing with raw emotion.We may as well assert that because a child has thrived upon milk, that it is never to have meat, or that the first twenty years of our lives is to become a for the next twenty. american sense of mission essay He “answers roundly” (with conviction) that the colonies’ growth was actually hampered by being part of a European empire. american sense of mission essay




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