Common SenseCommon Sense
was a pamphlet first published on January 10
during the American Revolutionary War
by Thomas Paine
. Its pages contained a denouncement of British
Arguments against British rule in Common Sense:
- It was ridiculous for an island to rule a continent
- America is not a "British nation"; it is composed of influences from all of Europe
- Even if Britain was the "mother country" of America, that makes her actions all the more horrendous, for no mother would harm her children so brutally
- Being a part of Britain would drag America into unnecessary European wars, and keep it from the international commerce at which America excelled.
The publication of this pamphlet was key in the growth of popular support for independence from Britain. Thomas Jefferson took ideas from both this publication and John Locke when writing the Declaration of Independence
- A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.
- Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.
- Every thing that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'tis time to part.
- But where says some is the king of America? I'll tell you friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the royal brute of Britain. ... so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king.
Full text of Common Sense courtesy of Project Gutenberg
- Scott Liell, 46 Pages: Tom Paine, Common Sense, and the Turning Point to American Independence, Running Press, April, 2003, hardcover, 160 pages, ISBN 076241507X; trade paperback, March, 2004, 176 pages, ISBN 0762418133