American Independence: As Told by the Common People and Gentry ClassIn his book Forced Founders, author Woody Holton argues that the American Revolution was the mostly due to the efforts of the lower class: Indians, merchants, debtors, slaves, and smallholders, instead of the more commonly referenced Virginian elites. Holton defends the influence of the weaker groups, even suggesting that the gentry class were more self-seeking, rather than patriotic revolutionaries. Holton asserts that the gentry settled upon independence as a means of survival, while the lower classes influenced America’s gentry in political and economic resolutions. Specifically, he argues that those like the Indians and slaves inadvertently caused the American Revolution. Forced Founders can be comparative towards Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. In Common Sense, Thomas Paine argues for American independence. His argument containe reflections on government and colonial situation. Paine begins by discussing government and society. Society, naturally, is construction with goodwill, resulting in the public joint efforts. However, Government is needed because our goodwill cannot govern the world. The purpose of government is freedom and security. However, we can be deceived by the promises of government and prejudice, and personal interest will cloud your judgement making us agree to unequal things and say they are right. Government should be judged solely on how well it accomplishes these goals. Paine heavily expressed his disagreement with Monarchical British reign in America, mostly attacking their system of government. He argues that although England is a safer place than some, the King still presides as Monarch and that the difference is that the King’s will is pretended to be carried out by “parliament” and its just more subtle. In short, the King is the true force of our suffering. He then determines that succession of the monarchy is evil and that we degrade ourselves be setting someone above us, in other words we are equal by birth. Heredity doesn’t work because not everyone can rule thus nature disapproves of it and frequently ridicules it by giving mankind “an Ass for a Lion.” The conclusion Paine reaches is that the practice of monarchy originates from sin, and is an institution that the Bible and God condemn. Overall, Paine says that the colonies really have nothing to gain from continuing their attachment to Britain. In both defense and economics America has grown away from British dependence, and America at this point should be the priority. Economics wise Paine says that commerce will increase and be better conducted with the rest of Europe after America’s independence. This means that if America remains in the same position, problems from the past will continue to reemerge. Thomas Paine’s arguments, in general, agree with Holton’s assumption that the gentry class was self-serving when it came to the Revolutionary War. The first reason was due to the elites political failures. Their influence in imperial policy was enormously contested by British merchants, Native Americans, and even the enslaved. Agreeing with Thomas Paine, the elimination of the Monarchical government was in their best interest, though for different reasons. The elites and Thomas Paine both knew that a new, separate government was needed; however, the reason the gentry wanted independence was to end the government alliance with merchants, slaves, and Indians. Most of this was due to the gentry’s competition with Indians on land, with many of the elites as active land speculators. In order to prevent another costly Indian war, the Proclamation of 1763 was formed, favoring the Indians by setting a fixed western boundary in North America. At this point Holton agrees with Thomas Paine’s idea that America benefited from economic independence from Britain. The gentry feared that their profits would decline, therefore the House of Burgesses objected to the new ruling. The elites were also facing heavy debt to merchants. When debtor’s threatened War, the House of Burgesses passed a bankruptcy law to ease their debts. However, this was vetoed by British government who again favored a lower class. In these regards the gentry’s wish for American Independence was fueled by their economic and political failures. Another point that both Thomas Paine and Holton agreed on was that independence would provide social order. This is due to the overflow of gentry’s debts with merchants. “Free Virginians were attracted to the most important resistance strategy of the prewar period–the commercial boycott against Britain–because it seemed likely not only to impel Parliament to repeal laws considered oppressive to white Americans but also to reduce the Virginians’ debts to British merchants”. Boycotts provided strong incentives for Virginians upper class to push independence. Yet, the gentry’s strategy of resistance came at a price. Social order started to slowly slip away. Riots created comercial shortages, and due to this the only way to restore order was the creation and revival of a new government and system of commerce. By lower class persuasion and the gentry’s own desperation, American independence was nearly inevitable. Forced Founders, and Common Sense both provided groundwork for the reasons and causes of the American revolution. Both Holton and Thomas Paine could agree that Independence was mostly achieved by the powerful force of poor classes. In both texts economics, and society itself needed freedom from Britain. However, Holton also discussed the fact that gentry only supported independence because of their own needs and not the needs of their country and fellow countrymen. Common Sense, a primary source in Blaufarb, noted the importance of indepence for the entire American nation, not pointing out class distinctions when it came to these notes. Though Forced Founders differed in this regard, both Holton and Thomas Paine laid out crucial information into the ideals of the people.