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On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was published
On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was published. It was the best-selling printed work by a single author in American history up to that time, selling 500,000+ copies. 📚📒📖
The pamphlet made a clear case for independence and directly attacked the political, economic, and ideological obstacles to achieving it.
Paine relentlessly insisted that British rule was responsible for nearly every problem in colonial society and that the 1770s crisis could only be resolved by colonial independence. That goal, he maintained, could only be achieved through unified action.
Did you know? Although Common Sense proved an influential piece of American political thought, John Adams did not think much of it, nor of its author:
“It has been a general Opinion, that this Pamphlet was of great Importance in the Revolution. I doubted it at the time and have doubted it to this day. It probably converted some to the Doctrine of Independence, and gave others an Excuse for declaring in favour of it. But these would all have followed Congress, with Zeal…”
Still Life with Book, Papers and Inkwell, François Bonvin, 1876
-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer