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Common Sense Questions and Answers
What are three arguments that Thomas Paine made in Common Sense?
What is Paine's observation in this excerpt from Common Sense? "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; 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. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." What does he mean in this statement? What twentieth century examples support this observation?
Explain the significance of the pamphlet "Common Sense."
What are some differences between the documents Common Sense and the Declaration of Independence?
On page 4 of Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" reread the paragraph that starts with, “Men of passive tempers.” At the beginning of this paragraph, Paine mildly faults the supporters of reconciliation because they are “still hoping for the best.” However, by the end of the paragraph, his tone toward such people has drastically changed. Give an example of this change (text evidence), and explain how Paine accomplished such a dramatic shift in tone (what is his strategy?).
What inspired Thomas Paine to write Common Sense?
In the passage below from Common Sense, explain Thomas Paine's purpose? '...I ask, hath your house been burnt? hath your property been destroyed before your face? are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined wretched survivor? If you have not, then are you not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with murderers, then you are unworthy of the name husband, father, friend or lover and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward, and the spirit of a sycophant.'
What is the thesis or central message for Common Sense, by Paine?
Who is the audience in the following passage from Thomas Paine's Common Sense?
What do you think are Paine's most important arguments in "Common Sense" that made it so effective? Specific quotes would be a really effective way to give these examples. Would you compare or contrast the arguments to that of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence?
Why did Thomas Paine argue for a declaration of independence and for immediate action?
In Common Sense, was Paine right to say that "Europe and not England is the parent country of America"? Why should that concept be considered a factor for separation?
What are the material injuries that Britain has done to the colonies, according to Paine in Common Sense?
In Common Sense, what interest does Paine argue America could better pursue if it were independent?
In Thomas Paine's Common Sense, what does the phrase "Pharaoh of England" refer to?
Can you please explain what Thomas Paine meant by "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one"?
Please paraphrase the passage "divest himself of prejudice and prepossession" in Common Sense.
In Common Sense, what advantages did Thomas Paine say the colonists had over the British in an armed conflict?
What is the rhetorical question in one of Paine’s Common Sense editions and what purpose does it serve?
What type of government does Paine want for America?
Explain Thomas Paine's criticism of the Quakers in Common Sense.
What did Thomas Paine argue in Common Sense and what impact did it have on the colonists?
Thomas Paine, in his pamphlet "Common Sense," argued that the colonists in America should fight against Britain and, in the course of his argument, provides the rationale that the colonists should and can be united for independence. In what sense can America be a nation or community according to Paine in Chapter 3 of "Common Sense?"
In the first paragraph of his introduction to Common Sense, Paine admits, "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; 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. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." How does Paine's initial disclaimer, in particular its last sentence, compare with the stated goals of his pamphlet?
According to Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, what are the reasons for the necessity of independence?
Can you summarize the four main sections of Thomas Paine's Common Sense pamphlet?
Pain argues that America should break free from England. List five of the arguments Paine uses in the text.
How can you compare and contrast the Declaration of Independence and Common Sense?
In Common Sense, how does Thomas Paine say America will continue to thrive without support from Britain?
Paine argues in Common Sense that it was too late to reconcile with Britain. Why was it too late?
Why was Common Sense important?
Where are the ideas of Common Sense in the Declaration of Independence?
What impact did Thomas Paine's “Common Sense” have on America's view of the American Revolution, and how did it effect the American people?
What do you think Jefferson means in the Declaration when he says people must take take possession for themselves "... among the powers of the earth[,] the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them"? What is he saying about human rights? From where do they come?
How would you describe the form of government Thomas Paine says should replace the monarchy in Common Sense?
What did the American Revolution mean to Thomas Paine in Common Sense?
What was so revolutionary about Common Sense when it was first written in 1775?
What was Common Sense about?
Why should British subjects have rejected Paine's arguments in Common Sense and remained loyal to the British Empire? In winter 1776, Thomas Paine's pamphlet "Common Sense" was read by many colonists in New York City and the question require me to write a response as a New York's citizen to explain that.
What is a "theme"? Where might the "themes" appear in Thomas Paine's pamphlet titled Common Sense?
How do you react to reading Paine's Common Sense and The Rights of Man? What words, examples, or reasons persuade you to listen to his arguments? What "turns of phrase" and figurative language (such as metaphors and similes) impress you as an intellectual (his audience) and persuade you to see his point of view? Is any of his language still relevant today in our own political climate?
How do you react to reading Paine's Common Sense and The Rights of Man? What words, examples, or reasons persuade you to listen to his arguments? What "turns of phrase," figurative language such as metaphors and similes, impress you as an intellectual (his audience) and persuade you to see his point of view?
Common Sense was a radical and impassioned call for America to free itself and set up an independent republican government. What are the views of Thomas Paine in regards to religion and revolution against British rule?
How does Paine’s initial disclaimer, in particular the last sentence, compare with the stated goals of his pamphlet?
How was Thomas Paine's Common Sense received in the colonies?
What is still revolutionary about Common Sense today in relation to the United Nations' "Universal Declaration of Human Rights"?
What more opportunities are there for us Americans in the twenty-first century to balance access to equal rights?
Paine's work was effective for his time and fanned the flame for revolution, but is any of his language still relevant today in our own political climate?