Thomas Paine With The Pamphlet Common Sense History Assignment

4100 words - 17 pages

Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, 1776
Advisor: Robert A. Ferguson, George Edward Woodberry Professor in Law, Literature and Criticism,
Columbia University; National Humanities Center Fellow.
Framing Question
How did Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense convince reluctant Americans to abandon the goal of
reconciliation with Britain and accept that separation from Britain — independence — was the only option
for preserving their liberty?
By January 1776, the American colonies were in open rebellion against
Britain. Their soldiers had captured Fort Ticonderoga, besieged Boston,
fortified New York City, and invaded Canada. Yet few dared voice what
most knew was true — they were no longer fighting for their rights as
British subjects. They weren’t fighting for self-defense, or protection of
their property, or to force Britain to the negotiating table. They were
fighting for independence. It took a hard jolt to move Americans from
professed loyalty to declared rebellion, and it came in large part from
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense. Not a dumbed-down rant for the
masses, as often described, Common Sense is a masterful piece of
argument and rhetoric that proved the power of words.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776
The man above does not look angry. To us, he projects the typical
figure of a “Founding Father” — composed, elite, and empowered. And to us his famous essays are awash
in powdered-wig prose. But the portrait and the prose belie the reality. Thomas Paine was a firebrand, and
his most influential essay — Common Sense — was a fevered no-holds-barred call for independence. He
is credited with turning the tide of public opinion at a crucial juncture, convincing many Americans that war
for independence was the only option to take, and they had to take it now, or else.
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – A Close Reading Guide from America in Class 2
Common Sense appeared as a pamphlet for sale
in Philadelphia on January 10, 1776, and, as we
say today, it went viral. The first printing sold out
in two weeks and over 150,000 copies were sold
throughout America and Europe. It is estimated
that one fifth of Americans read the pamphlet or
heard it read aloud in public. General Washington
ordered it read to his troops. Within weeks, it
seemed, reconciliation with Britain had gone from
an honorable goal to a cowardly betrayal, while
independence became the rallying cry of united
Patriots. How did Paine achieve this?
1. Timing
Over a year elapsed between the outbreak
of armed conflict and the Declaration of
Independence. During these fifteen months, many
bemoaned the reluctance of Americans to renounce
their ties with Britain despite the escalating warfare
around them. “When we are no longer fascinated with the Idea of a speedy Reconciliation,” wrote
Benjamin Franklin in mid-1775, “we shall exert ourselves to some purpose. Till then Things will be done
by Halves.”1 In addition, there remained much discord among the colonies about their shared...

Find Another Essay On thomas paine with the pamphlet common sense - history - assignment

Thomas Paine: Assessment of Common Sense

1049 words - 4 pages Schneider1Joshua SchneiderProfessor SauerU.S. History15 September 2014Thomas Paine's Common SenseThroughout Thomas Paine's book, Common Sense, he thoroughly discussed the concerns of the rights of individuals and the legality of rebellion. This was especially important because, at the time before the publication of Common Sense, the majority of American Colonies were rejecting rebellion. Once Common Sense was published the ideas of rebellion and

Colonial TImes and Independence in Common Sense by Thomas Paine

676 words - 3 pages Common Sense written by Thomas Paine in 1776 was originally a pamphlet that argues America’s independence about reflections about the government, and religion. He also speaks of the colonial people situation. Paine wanted a new beginning where everyone had equal social rights and freedom. Paine starts off expressing the difference between society and the government. Paine says “Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its

Thomas Paine-Common Sense and related writings. How do his ideas about the British Constitution compare with his ideas about nature?

587 words - 3 pages militiamen was optimistic for they showed Great Britain that they had the potential to do considerable damage to the British army. However, the American's revived optimism was shattered due to the veto of the Olive Branch Petition. By late 1775 the grip of King George tightened by condemning the Americans, labeling them as rebels, traitors, and enemies. Someone needed to speak up and Thomas Paine boldly brought forth common sense both literally and

Thomas Paine's Common Sense

1320 words - 5 pages Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" Thomas Paine is responsible for some of the most influential pamphlets about the colonial situation in the 1700’s. He found himself in the right position and time to make his opinions known through his writing. He was a journalist in Philadelphia when the American relationship with England was thinning and change was on the horizon. Paine became famous at this time for writing Common Sense, as well as his

Thomas Paine's Common Sense

1391 words - 6 pages In the work of Thomas Paine, "Common Sense" Paine mentions throughout of the working for a positive government with the idea of equality. Thomas Paine writes different excerpt that give theories and idea with the goal of implementing those ideas into a government that may be just and fair. Paine reflects on the English constitution specifically the crown. Paine also provide an insight to having a higher power to run a government. Paine also

Common Sense, by Thomas Paine and Letter to Any Would-Be Terrorists, by Naomi Shihab Nye

1516 words - 6 pages the quote “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” by Martin Luther King states, if we let the injustice of racial discrimination flourish anywhere, we might end up with social discrimination becoming a norm for people in every nation in this world. Common Sense, a pamphlet written by Thomas Pain just as Letter to Any Would-be Terrorists advocates for the idea of fighting against injustice. In this pamphlet, Thomas Pain believed

Review of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

535 words - 2 pages "Common Sense" challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Thomas Paine used spoke to the common people of America. Namely, Paine spoke to those who felt that the government of Great Britain was being oppressive to the American people. This 1776 publication was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain. In a very articulate manner, Paine begins with his general

This essay compares the word choice, and overall effectiveness of the decleration of independence vs. thomas paine's "common sense"

612 words - 2 pages most important symbols of liberty, yet all Jefferson did was summarize a philosophy which had been around since the mid seventeenth century.During a time when most were oblivious to the ideas of separation from Britain, Thomas Paine's Common Sense presented the public with incredibly revolutionary ideas on government. By using classic examples and insatiable intellect, Paine was completely capable of proving unheard-of concepts surrounding the

Consider the difference between Common Sense and Sociological Thinking? - Sociology and Politics - Assignment

841 words - 4 pages with one another in society. This essay will cover hoe sociology challenges enables us to challenge social facts that have been accepted. I will briefly explain what common sense and sociological thinking are before going on to applying them to the concept of religion and Social Class. One example will be the sociological explanations of the 2011 London Riots. The common opinion transmitted through the press and media was blaming the working class

Comparing Thomas Paine's Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence

1117 words - 4 pages , though not completely becoming a force on the matter. Jefferson maintains a very up-front approach, simply overwhelming his readers with numerous examples and energetic voice, concluding with the 'final word' on the matter. However much the style differs, though, the two documents were equally compelling and served to motivate a nation into fighting for their independence. Bibliography: Jefferson, Thomas. "The Declaration of Independence." 1776 Paine, Thomas. "Common Sense." Electronic Library of Primary Sources: The Americans. CD-ROM. McDougal Littell. Evanston, IL: 1999.

American Revolution by Nathan Belisle did america have the right to revolt according to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

869 words - 3 pages explain it in, will in a few years be looked on as folly and childishness." (Common Sense chap.3) There was also the fact that England took part in many wars and dragged America into many of them, making America an enemy to many countries that it would other wise share a friendship with. For example, Tomas Paine writes "France and Spain never were...our enemies as Americans, but as our being subjects of Great Britain." (CS chap.3) Then there is the

Similar Essays

"The Pamphlet" By Thomas Paine" Essay

936 words - 4 pages ." Thomas Paine's successfulness with the pamphlet shows us that we can make changes in our everyday life. Paine acknowledged something that troubled him. He recognized that American had the right to be free, and he proved it using "common sense." One of the most powerful examples of this common sense proves the illogical position that Britain was in."Small islands not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take

"Common Sense" By Thomas Paine Essay

857 words - 3 pages "In my youth I also read tragedies,epic poems, romances, and divinity.Now I read Common Sense."Robert BageA Brief History Of Thomas PaineThomas Paine was born Tom Pain in the town of Thetford, Norfolk onJanuary 29, 1737. His father, Joseph, was a Quaker staymaker, while his motherwas the daughter of an attorney. Tom was raised in Quaker fashion and schooledfrom age six to thirteen. In 1750, he began to apprentice in his father's shop tolearn the

The Impact Of "Common Sense" By Thomas Paine

1440 words - 6 pages The Impact of Common SenseA drunken abusive husband who is constantly in debt and rarely bathes is probably not the most likely candidate to have changed popular opinion in favor of Revolution. The fact that this person single-handedly swayed many people to independence had only been in the colonies for a few years makes it seem even less likely. And yet, one of the most influential writers of the Revolutionary period was Thomas Paine, who

Thomas Paine, More Than Common Sense

1998 words - 8 pages England. His aforementioned ability to speak to the masses coupled with his idea of independence and rights for all people was slowly building a mass ready to revolt and demand independence. As Rowland L. Young stated, “Common Sense was the catalyst that made colonists think of themselves as Americans, not as Englishmen, and once that change was wrought, independence became inevitable.” For these reasons, Thomas Paine and Common Sense was the