What is the thesis or central message for "Common Sense," by Paine?I just finished reading this, and am way confused, what was the central message of the story?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are really two central messages in Common Sense, but they both really lead to the same conclusion. That is that the American colonies should declare independence from Great Britain. Paine bases this conclusion on two premises. The first is that hereditary monarchy is inherently bad and corrupt. Paine argues that "exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature." He remarks that undeserving people may be elevated to the monarchy by heredity, and that the "mixed" constitution of Great Britain is not the wellspring of people's rights. Rather, they were born with rights by virtue of being human. The British government, because it was fundamentally based on heredity, could not be trusted to protect the rights of men. The second message of Common Sense, and Paine's second argument for independence, is that the colonies were simply ready to separate from Great Britain. They were capable of economic self-sufficiency and would actually flourish once removed from the external restrictions placed on their trade when they became independent. Separation from Great Britain just made sense even apart from the ideological arguments he makes in the first part of the pamphlet. So for these two main reasons, Paine advocated independence from Great Britain.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" was one of the major factors in bringing about the American Revolution.  The main thesis or central message of the book was A) that monarchy was a bad form of government and B) that the American colonies should become free from England and form their own country.

Before Paine wrote this pamphlet, the idea of rebelling against England was not very strong in the colonies.  Neither was the idea that monarchy should be abolished.  Instead, most people wanted to remain part of Britain, under the king, but with better laws and a bit more self-government.  Paine's writing convinced large numbers of Americans that it would be better to be independent and to no longer have a king.

brownwolf | Student

It basically means its the right thing to break away from Britian.