A Difference in Attitude

M. Weeks
1-7-99

Throughout the time of the world, many writers have documented it’s
history. Some writers chose to be firm, while others chose to rather be soft.
Thomas Jefferson, an author from the Revolutionary period, is known to be
America’s third president. Thomas Paine, a native Englishmen, wrote The Crisis.
Paine and Jefferson both wrote about the American revolution, but expressed
their thoughts and ideas through different means.
Jefferson wrote the declaration to inform the world of how America was
being treated by King George III. Jefferson’s work was well-structured and
thought out. The beginning of this work states the purpose of the United States,
from Jefferson’s point of view. Jefferson wrote about “self-evident” truths
and how they applied to the United States. Jefferson continued by describing
what the King had done to the colonies of America. He wrote, “...let facts be
submitted to a candid world.” His meaning for this statement was that the
world had no knowledge, or refused to accept their knowledge, of the treatment
the King was given them. Jefferson was compelled to state the facts. In
reading the declaration, one does not see any attack toward any one person, just
the governmental system of monarchy. Jefferson informed everyone reading
his pamphlet that the United States has no quarrel with the common British
citizen. He expressed his hope for a common collaboration between Britain and
the independent United States after the war. Jefferson illustrated this by
saying “...enemies in war, in peace friends.”
Thomas Paine wrote about the King of England in a different manner.
His attitude toward the King was much more harsh. He wrote, “Look on this
picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who
believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.” The picture to which he is
referring to is a description of what the country would be like if King George
continued to rule it. Paine discriminated against the Americans because of their
indolent attitude. He said that if the Americans had done something sooner,
then it would be easier for them to achieve independence. Paine attacked the
men specifically for not doing something about the King. “Would that heaven
might inspire a Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen and save her fair
fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment.” Paine’s writing was an attempt
to inspire vigor in the Americans to take action against their political
imprisonment.
Paine and Jefferson, although they had similar goals in each of their
pieces, attempted to inspire different classes of people in opposite ways. Paine’s
objective was to compel the Americans to take action and stand up for their
country. Jefferson’s objective was the let the “candid world,” the more
politically minded, know who the United States were, and how they deserved
independence. Even so, he Revolution was aided by both of these writers.
Jefferson allowed for the new free country to have a democratic government
while Paine pushed the country into wanting to be independent, by whatever
means were necessary.