"Common Sense" was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, and became an immediate sensation.
Written in clear and persuasive prose, Thomas Paine marshaled moral and political arguments to encourage common people in the Colonies to fight for egalitarian government. "Common Sense" made public a persuasive and impassioned case for independence, which before the pamphlet had not yet been given serious intellectual consideration. He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity, structuring "Common Sense" as if it were a sermon.
Historian Gordon S. Wood described "Common Sense" as "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era".
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