Explain the significance of the pamphlet "Common Sense."

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pamphlet, Common Sense, was written in 1776 during the events leading to the American Revolutionary War. This document was very important because it helped sway people into supporting those individuals who favored declaring independence from Great Britain. This pamphlet explained the reasons why the colonists should break free from the rule of the British.

Prior to the publication of this document, many colonists were undecided about declaring independence from Great Britain. While they weren’t happy with the actions of the British, these people weren’t sure that declaring independence was the right thing for the colonists to do, even though some fighting had already occurred between the colonists and the British, such as the fighting at Lexington and at Concord. This pamphlet helped convince many of the undecided colonists that declaring independence was in the best interests of the colonists. About six months after the publication of Common Sense, the Declaration of Independence was issued in July of 1776.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine wrote the pamphlet "Common Sense" in 1775 and it was published in January of 1776.  The main impact of this pamphlet was to help cause the American colonists to decide to fight for independence.

The first battles of the Revolution took place in 1775, but the colonists had not yet decided to actually try to become independent.  Many of them still wanted to try to reconcile with England and there was not a huge amount of hatred for the idea of monarchy.

The publication of Common Sense changed that.  In the pamphlet, Paine argued that monarchy was a bad system of government and that the American colonies must become free.  After that, sentiment grew for this position, leading to the Declaration of Independence in July of 1776.

kodasport eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine was a very influential writer of the mid 1700's.  He wrote in a manner that was easy to read.  Many writers of the time wrote in a way that only the very well educated could read. Because of this, many people read this pamphlet and it had a huge impact.

Thomas Paine villified the British crown.  The trouble of the early 1750's, according to Paine, were the fault of the British government.  He went on to write, that the colonies should be free of the British.  The population in the colonies were split on the idea of independence.  The pamphlet "Common Sense" helped to sway the leaders and the people that the time had come to declare independence.

bgeorgiev | Student

Written and published in 1775 and 1776 respectively, Common Sense is a vastly influential piece of political literature anonymously written by Thomas Paine in order to spark an intellectual conversation on the topic of American independence from Great Britain. Paine published and distributed the sermon-like persuasive piece throughout the colonies with the intent of convincing the colonists to revolt against the crown. It is interesting to note that it is truly written in the format of a sermon with many Protestant beliefs entwined in the text as an added means to establish common ground amongst the colonists and work to further persuade them.

Paine divided the pamphlet into four distinct sections. In the first, he worked to establish a foundation for the argument for a republican American government. In the subsequent section he assesses the nature of monarchy, the social system it brings, the contradictions between the aforementioned system and biblical equality of all men, and lastly historical consequences and future implications of a monarchy. Successively, he reiterates the hostilities between America and Great Britain and closes his sermon with a vision of a bright future for America independent and flourishing. These four sections seamlessly work together to create the most influential and widely-read work of American political literature consequently leading to the American Revolution.

Yojana_Thapa | Student

The most significant of the pamphlet "Common sense" written by Thomas Paine is that it was a strongly worded call for independence from Great Britain.