One of the main stumbling blocks in the American colonies to a commitment to independence from British rule was personal loyalty to the British crown. There has always been a political taboo of almost mystical force against attacking the head of state, and always the convenient though emasculating custom of attributing his sins to his evil or incompetent advisers. Such long-standing habits impeded a rational analysis of the deeds of King George III. Furthermore, the old and obsolete Whig ideal of virtual independence under a figurehead king of both Britain and America could only be shattered if the king were to be attacked personally.
To rupture this taboo, to smash the icon, and so to liberate America from its thrall required a special type of man, a man fearless, courageous, and radical, an intellectual with a gift for dramatic and exciting rhetoric and unfettered by the many ties that bind a man to the existing system. At this strategic hour America found just such a man: Thomas Paine. FULL ARTICLE