Common Sense Summary

The SQUEEZE: The discovery of a new world brings with it joy and challenges. Navigating with practical idealism through the evils and influence of government becomes a primary concern for many in pursuit of freedom. Thomas Paine’s Common Sense argues for American separation from Great Britain. Originally published on January 10, 1776, Common Sense appeals to the American colonists and suggests (to them) the necessity of pursuing independence from a hostile nation whose aim included ruling the colonies for its own benefit. Paine suggests to the American colonies that a Continental Charter would help to secure freedom and property for all men, to provide freedom of religion, and to form a new national government. Political history educators will find Thomas Paine’s Common Sense a truly intriguing read.

Notable Endorsement: “No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style; in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple unassuming language.” –Thomas Jefferson

Common Q’s Answered by this Book:

  • What is the argument for freedom?
  • What are examples of protestant beliefs?
  • What is the American political identity?
  • Who are the American colonists?
  • How did discovery of the New World affect the Reformation?
  • What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?
  • What is the Continental Charter?


About the Author: Born in Thetford, England, Thomas Paine wrote two influential pamphlets that revolutionized American colonist thinking. Paine inspired the American Patriots to pursue independence from Britain in 1776. Paine’s ideas enlightened the current rhetoric of the period, incurring labels such as propagandist of his era. Paine’s popular contribution to the Declaration of Independence was his pamphlet Common Sense, which serves today as an American bestseller on the subject of colonial thinking. During the course of his life, Paine further wrote additional books, defending the French Revolution (Rights of Man, 1791), advocating deism and arguing against institutionalized religion (The Age of Reason, 1793-94), and discussing the origins of property (Agrarian Justice, 1795). For more information, visit:


Book Vitals:

Publisher: Dover Publications (April 1997)

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