How was Thomas Paine's Common Sense received in the colonies?

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Thomas Paine'sCommon Sense was quite the hit upon its initial publication in 1775. It sold very well and was widely discussed among the American populace. People often read Common Sense out loud in public places to promote discussion of its contents. It remained the most bestselling American piece...

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Thomas Paine's Common Sense was quite the hit upon its initial publication in 1775. It sold very well and was widely discussed among the American populace. People often read Common Sense out loud in public places to promote discussion of its contents. It remained the most bestselling American piece of literature for a good two centuries, in fact.

Its arguments for the independence of the American colonies from the British Empire were influential in the political spheres of the day. Paine's arguments convinced even the most indifferent of colonists to at least consider the advantages of independence. The most appealing part of Paine's pamphlet, for a good many colonists, seems to have been his emphasis on individual empowerment and his passionate style of writing.

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Thomas Paine's pamphlet was very well received by colonists.  In fact, historians tend to give it credit for helping to tip the colonies towards a desire for independence.

Before Paine wrote Common Sense, there was not a strong sentiment for independence.  The arguments made by the Patriots were mainly legal ones about what sorts of rights Americans had as British subjects.  This was not very stirring or exciting for most colonists.

Paine's writing changed that.  He made a very clear case for the idea that monarchy should be abolished and that the colonies should be free and democratic.  This was a much more exciting idea to many colonists.  Because of this, the pamphlet sold very well among the colonists and George Washington himself went so far as to say "I find Common Sense is working a powerful change in the minds of men."

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