Thomas Paine and Common Sense - Video - HISTORY

Common Sense (Pamphlet) by Thomas Paine ..
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Thomas Paine and "Common Sense" By Matthew B

Paine would have embraced the description—although he wasless of a ‘common man’ than many who have subsequentlyeulogized him make him out to be. In many respects, he was amoderately respectable radical, with a deep suspicion of thehierarchical systems of Europe, a brimming confidence in his ownjudgment that his experience in America confirmed—which expresseditself in his willingness to tackle a range of subject areas,including bridge-building and scientific experiments—and with agrowing sense that he knew how to communicate, with powerful effect,with a popular audience at exactly the point at which that popularaudience was beginning to feel and test its political influence.

View the Complete Text Common Sense was written by Thomas Paine on January 10, 1776
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Thomas Paine - Timeline - History's HEROES from E2BN

Paine’s religious views, not unlike his political views, are notespecially original or subtle. They follow much of the deist writingof the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. But, as withmuch Paine wrote, the bluntness and sweeping rhetoric that alienatesthe more philosophically inclined modern reader were an essentialelement in his success and his continuing importance. Paine spoke toordinary people—and they read him in theirthousands—indeed, he was often read aloud in public houses andcoffee shops. He claimed no authority over them, but helped them todoubt those who did claim such authority, whether civil or religious,and he affirmed over and over again their right and responsibility tothink for themselves and to reach their own judgment on matters. Hedid so at a time when the press had become capable of reaching eventhe poorest of society—when the Attorney General launched theprosecution of Rights of Man (1792) he distinguished betweenthe first part, which was ‘ushered into the world undercircumstances that led me to conceive that it would be confined to thejudicious reader’, and the second part, which ‘with anindustry incredible, it was either totally or partially thrust intothe hands of all persons in this country, of subjects of everydescription…Gentlemen, to whom are those positions, that arecontained in this book addressed…to the ignorant, to thecredulous, to the desperate.’ (State Trails v. 22, 381–3).

1780 THE AMERICAN CRISIS by Thomas Paine (A series of tracts concerning the Revolution in America)
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For all its success, Common Sense is not without flaws. Itcontains a digression on biblical accounts of the origin of monarchy;its powerful rhetoric leaves unanswered a range of more practical andtheoretical questions, and the argument jumps aroundconsiderably. Later editions added an appendix denouncing the Quakersfor their quietism. But its rhetorical effectiveness cannot be doubted—which suggests that it intersected powerfully with the concerns andbeliefs that were widespread in colonial America at the point ofrupture. Political theorists might want to press for more detailsabout who will have the vote; about whether there is an implicitacceptance of a doctrine of the fall; about the extent to which hisappeals to republics envisage a degree of republican civic virtue;about whether the argument is based on an account of natural rights;and so on. But on such issues the pamphlet is either silent or onlybarely suggestive. Unlike Locke, this is not a principledjustification for resistance, so much as a concatenation of pointsabout Americans taking their collective identity and independentinterests seriously and separating from the increasingly arbitraryrule of Britain. Given these sweeping claims, it is easy to see why somany commentators have held that Paine was both lacking inintellectual sophistication and basically held to a consistent set ofprinciples throughout his work, since it is difficult to demonstratethat much he says is actively inconsistent with what he laterwrote. Nonetheless, if we take increasing precision in his claims asevidence of greater attention to issues that he felt he couldconfidently sweep past in Common Sense, then a case for adeepening of his thinking and for a process of change over time can bemade.

Common Sense - Kindle edition by Thomas Paine
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Common Sense, by Thomas Paine; Introduction Page 1

Paine consolidated his reputation as a pamphleteer with his seriesof American Crisis letters (1777–83); he also served in anumber of capacities for Congress and the PennsylvanianAssembly. Although he had links with the more radical elements ofPennsylvanian politics, he also committed his energies to a number ofmore elite projects—contributing to the establishment of theBank of America to help raise money for the war, and working withRobert Morris to encourage State Legislatures to accept the need forFederal taxation to support the war. Following the conclusion of thewar he was awarded a farm by the New York assembly, and Congress votedhim a grant of $3,000 for his services.

Thomas Paine: Collected Writings | Library of America

In Philadelphia Paine developed an acquaintance with Robert Aitkin,a publisher and bookseller, who employed him to editthe Pennsylvania Magazine. There remains considerabledisagreement about which pieces in the Magazine were written by Paine,but it seems clear that he did contribute and that he developed areputation among political circles in Philadelphia as a result, atjust the time that tensions with Britain were reaching a crisispoint. In the autumn of 1775, encouraged by Benjamin Rush, Paine beganwork on a pamphlet defending the case of American independence. Hediscussed his work with Rush, David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Franklin,and Samuel Adams, but the work was his own (save for the title, forwhich Rush claimed responsibility). Common Sense (1776) wasthe most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution. It was aclarion call for unity, against the corrupt British court, so as torealize America’s providential role in providing an asylum forliberty. Written in a direct and lively style, it denounced thedecaying despotisms of Europe and pilloried hereditary monarchy as anabsurdity. At a time when many still hoped for reconciliation withBritain, Common Sense demonstrated to many the inevitabilityof separation.