"Common Sense" Published
Common Sense is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine.
It was first published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution. Common Sense was signed "Written by an Englishman", and the pamphlet became an immediate success. In relation to the population of the Colonies at that time, it had the largest sale and circulation of any book in American history. Common Sense presented the American colonists with a powerful argument for independence from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood; forgoing the philosophy and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, Paine structured Common Sense like a sermon and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.
Small islands not capable of protecting themselves are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something very absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.”— Thomas Paine
Paine's political pamphlet brought the rising revolutionary sentiment into sharp focus by placing blame for the suffering of the colonies directly on the reigning British monarch, George III.
First and foremost, Common Sense advocated an immediate declaration of independence, postulating a special moral obligation of America to the rest of the world. Not long after publication, the spirit of Paine's argument found resonance in the American Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Paine wrote the famous revolutionary tract Common Sense
Written at the outset of the Revolution, Common Sense became the leaven for the ferment of the times. It stirred the colonists to strengthen their resolve, resulting in the first successful anticolonial action in modern history.
Little did Paine realize that his writings would set fire to a movement that had seldom if ever been worked out in the Old World: sovereignty of the people and written constitutions, together with effective checks and balances in government.
Paine has been described as a professional radical and a revolutionary propagandist without peer. Born in England, he was dismissed as an excise officer while lobbying for higher wages. Impressed by Paine, Benjamin Franklin sponsored Paine's emigration to America in 1774.
In Philadelphia Paine became a journalist and essayist, contributing articles on all subjects to The Pennsylvania Magazine. After the publication of Common Sense, Paine continued to inspire and encourage the patriots during the Revolutionary War with a series of pamphlets entitled The American Crisis. Eventually, Paine went on to write The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.
But, it all started with Common Sense, the writing that sparked an American Revolution.