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Skeptical about the divinity of Jesus and the Bible, they believed in an impersonal God who, once the universe was created, no longer intervened in human affairs.The best way to improve society, deists argued, was to rely on reason.
Paine unleashed his anger directly at King George III.
He argued that the cause of American hostility toward the British government was not Parliament, but rather the monarchy, which he claimed was the true source of malice toward the colonists.
called for an end to the colonists’ political wavering over British rule and promoted the concept of an American republic where free citizens, not a monarch, were in control.
America, Paine concluded, had an obligation to the world to become an independent and democratic society.
Locke believed that a government with great power would be tempted to use its authority to control individuals.
The government, he contended, should be divided into different branches with each branch possessing only the power necessary to fulfill its function.Instead, governments were created among naturally free people as social compacts or contracts.Civil rulers derived their authority from the consent of the governed, and held their power as a public trust.Paine declared that King George was a “Royal Brute” who did not deserve the colonists’ respect and claimed that the authority of all government officials, from governors to senators to judges, should originate from popular consent.Paine further argued that the concept of an island ruling a continent defied natural law.One person credited with influencing the colonists’ decision to seek independence from British rule was Thomas Paine, a one-time corset maker who left England for a better life in Philadelphia.The impoverished entrepreneur, who tried his hand at several vocations including writing, penned the pamphlet in January 1776, about a year after his arrival in America.Within a short period, most of the other colonies established similar organizations to spread the spirit of resistance and exchange information and ideas about the latest British policies.The network effectively shaped public opinion, generated strong inter-colonial cooperation, and created a unified front that invigorated the patriotic cause.“The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of Nature for his rule.The liberty of man in society is to be under no other legislative power but that established by consent in the commonwealth, nor under the dominion of any will, or restraint of any law, but what that legislative shall enact according to the trust put in it.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Government More than eighty years after Locke published his political views on government, Thomas Jefferson incorporated many of the philosopher’s principles into the Declaration of Independence.