Paine’s “Age of Reason,”

A. Age of Reason (pgs. 695-702)

A. In Paine’s “Age of Reason,” he essentially attacks organized religion: “My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit” (pg. 696). This destroyed Paine’s reputation in America and caused his last years to be ones of poverty and ridicule. Do you think he deserved his fate? What is your take on Paine’s view of religion? Are there dangers to not having a separation of church and state and/or believing blindly in an institution?

B. The Federalist: Letter No. 10 (pgs. 726-731)
B. In The Federalist: Letter No. 10, read the last three paragraphs (pgs. 730-731) of the letter. With our current political system in mind, do you think Madison was right? Why?

C. John Adams and Abigail Adams and “The Letters” (pgs. 664-680).)
C. What letter do you find most interesting between the pair of Adams? Why? In general, do you find that the two Adams worry about similar issues or are they separate? Who do you identify the most with? Why? Compare and contrast the couple’s concerns.

D. “Information to Those Who Would Remove to America” (pgs. 456-466)
D. What ideas do you see in Franklin’s letter, “To Those Who Would Remove to America,” that echo current ideals that are considered “American”? What does he say about American work ethic, education, money, and religion?

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