Study Guide

Common Sense What's Up With the Ending?

By Thomas Paine

What's Up With the Ending?

"And here without anger or resentment I bid you farewell. Sincerely wishing, that as men and Christians, ye may always fully and uninterruptedly enjoy every civil and religious right; and be, in your turn, the means of securing it to others; but that the example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, MAY BE DISAVOWED AND REPROBATED BY EVERY INHABITANT OF AMERICA." (A.40)

Thomas Paine ends his argument for American independence by taking on a Quaker writer who claims that only God can decide the course of history and that Americans shouldn't wage war with the British. Paine skewers this Quaker dude for bringing religion to bear on politics and having a negative influence on the fight for freedom.

In the end, Paine even calls for every patriotic American to turn their backs on this person and the ideas he promotes. He's perfectly confident that his ideas are the product of common sense, but he's not above bullying people to make sure they agree with him.

It's also worth noting that Paine ends this pamphlet with a super-bombastic all-caps explosion. We're tempted to say "Hey, there. Settle down now, Paine," but hey—who are we to argue with a guy who shaped American history, just because he abuses the 18th Century version of caps lock?

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