Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Common Sense, the famous “pamphlet” published on January 10, 1776 by Thomas Paine, was a powerful call for American independence from England. It met with immediate success and had numerous reprints, tipping the scales in the minds of many toward the Revolution. At the same time it brought resolve and courage to those who fought for the cause.

In Paine’s mind it made common sense to rebel against England. It was the right time; America had the necessary resources; the monarchy of England was a governmental system to avoid; even God and Scripture were on the side of the colonies.

Paine appealed to the pride of Americans, their natural rights, the benefit of national debt, their financial well-being, their aspirations for the future, as well as their common sense to move for independence without delay. As he intoned in the appendix of a subsequent edition of Common Sense, “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

The edition I read was published by Barnes and Noble in 1995 and includes the appendix and a short biography on Paine’s life.