Common Sense

February 14, 1776

In the first months of 1776, the Colonists still wanted to negotiate with the British to resolve the main problems. Many of the colonists felt that the King and the Queen of England were appointed by God and to challenge their authority would be a violation of Godly principles.

Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense in January 1776, but it was not published as a pamphlet until February 14, 1776. He wanted people to think about what was happening. He explained that the people must fight against the unfair and unjust ways of King George III and the British Parliament. He used plain, simple common sense in his writing to show the Colonists there was no other way to protect their rights, but to declare their independence. He talked about government being a "necessary evil," which could be made better through having elections often. He didn't think that government should control people who did not have a voice in what was being done.

The British who lived in England had many rights. They had a say in the laws Parliament was making. The Colonists, though, had no rights or any say in what laws Parliament made. They were being taxed by a country without having any say or voting power.

Thomas Paine taught the world about the problems of the colonies. In just a few months more than 500,000 copies were sold. This means about one out every eight colonists had a copy of Common Sense. Almost everyone in the colonies knew Thomas Paine was an Englishman and that the English government condemned him for his teachings. Even so, people saw the "common sense" he made. Common Sense made the colonists think and after they thought they became more ready to fight for their independence.

"A government of our own is our natural right, 'TIS TIME TO PART" was the last line of Common Sense.

Introduction to Common Sense

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