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Thomas Paine Common Sense

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Common Sense written by Thomas Paine in 1775–1776 was a pamphlet written that inspired the early colonists of the thirteen colonies to declare and fight for independence from the royal monarchy of Great Britain in the summer of 1776. Thomas Paine began writing Common Sense in late 1775 and was published on January 1, 1776 anonymously because of its treasonable content towards it mother country. “One hundred twenty thousand copies sold in the first three months in a nation of three million people, making Common Sense the best-selling printed work by a single author in American history up to that time”(Common Sense). Common Sense targeted a popular audience and was written in a straightforward and simple way, so Paine’s political ideas were made tangible and available to a common audience. The colonists had never seen such a dramatic writing style that appealed to all classes and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the early colonists. In Paine’s dramatic writing style, it exploited Great Britain, stating that America did not receive but always give to them.

“Common Sense made a clear case for independence and directly attacked the political, economic, and ideological obstacles to achieving it. Paine relentlessly insisted that British rule was responsible for nearly every problem in colonial society and that the 1770s crisis could only be resolved by colonial independence”(The rhetoric for Popular Democracy). He made it a point to those individuals who were “on the fence” for going against Great Britain could only be achieved through unity. It served as a morale booster to all colonial regiments during the Revolution, including those under General George Washington, at Valley Forge. George Washington was so affected by Common Sense that he relinquished all personal hope of mending fences with England and ordered the pamphlet to be distributed to his troops. It grew the patriot cause and in the end it all became common sense. “Why should tiny England rule the vastness of a continent? How can colonists expect to gain foreign support while still professing loyalty to the British king? How much longer can Americans stand for the repeated abuses of the Crown?”(Thomas Paine’s Common Sense).

Common Sense: The Rhetoric of Popular Democracy.

10f. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. http://www.ushistory.org/us/10f.asp

Common Sense : http://www.thomaspainesociety.org/common_sense.html

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