Common Sense is an essay written by Thomas Paine and published in 1776, during the American Revolution.
The essay, revolutionary and incendiary in its time, takes a stand against British rule at a time when the independence issue was still generating rejection among the settlers. Thomas Paine's position exerted a great influence on American public opinion during the Revolutionary War. Thomas Paine defended in this essay that the sole purpose of the metropolis was to exploit the riches of the colonies without providing them with any compensation.
It was published as a brochure in plain language, so that the message could reach and be understood by everyone. It was inspired by the sermons of the Bible and its structure to motivate the reader, connecting independence with the Protestant faith as an American political identity.
Initially published anonymously, it was a resounding success in the United States, selling over 100,000 copies of the book in its first few months.
This digital edition of the book Common Sense is based in this original edition: Philadelphia Printed and sold by W. and T. Bradford, February 14, 1776
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Date added: 25-02-2022
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For as we are never in a proper condition of doing justice to others, while we continue under the influence of some leading partiality, so neither are we capable of doing it to ourselves while we remain fettered by any obstinate prejudice.
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.
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.
It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies; yet our present numbers are sufficient to repel the force of all the world.