Nathanael Greene & the Formation of the American Republic

Who Was to Blame?

Because of all of the reasons stated above, Nathanael Greene was incensed at the Mother Country for the violation of his and the colonists rights.  This, logically, suggests that he was angry at some specific person or group of people in the British government.  Most likely, Nathanael agreed with popular opinion that Parliament or the Ministry was conspiring to usurp colonial liberties.  King George III was still considered a friend of the colonies.  Although it is a mystery as to exactly when Nathanael Greene’s opinion of who was to blame for the violation of colonial liberties changed, it is certain that Thomas Paine played no small part.

In 1776, Thomas Paine published Common Sense, a pamphlet so powerful it instantly changed the nature of the conflict at hand.  Common Sense passionately denounced King George III and monarchy in general.  Paine’s pamphlet was written in the language of the common man, allowing people of every socioeconomic class to read and understand the reasons for his fury.14  Before Common Sense, many colonists, George Washington included, still hoped that Britain’s monarch would rescue his people.  After publication, America could have no king.

Later that same year, Thomas Paine volunteered as a civilian in the Continental Army and became General Greene’s aide-de-camp.  Green took an immediate liking to Paine, whom he nicknamed Common Sense.15  This can only testify to the likely effect Thomas Paine and Common Sense had on Nathanael’s relationship with Britain.  Common Sense severed Nathanael’s last connection with Britain. The United States was now his home and country.

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