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Common Sense | Study Guide

Thomas Paine

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Key Figures Common Senseby the Numbers Months Paine spent in a French prison for speaking out against the execution of King Louis XVI, the deposed king of France ~11 Revolutions Paine supported: the American and French 2 Royalties Paine accepted for the publication of Common Sense to keep costs down so everyone could afford it $0 Editions of Common Sense printed within the first year of its publication, not including unauthorized versions 25 Sources: Colonial Williamsburg Journal, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Thomas Paine National Historical Association Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Known for his political and often controversial pamphlets, British emigrant Paine was a proponent of colonial reconciliation with Great Britain until April 19, 1775, when British troops fired at American militiamen in Lexington, Massachusetts. He persuaded thousands to echo his call for independence in Common Sense. THOMAS PAINE1737–1809 Author The Enlightenment In the 17th and 18th centuries, European thinkers espoused ideas of liberty and rationalism that influenced Paine. British Rule The colonies had no representation in Parliament despite being British subjects. Taxation & Regulation Parliament tightly regulated trade and taxed goods to pay for the cost of governing the colonies. Context King George III Monarch and Great Britain’s head of state from 1760 to 1820; attracted the colonists’ anger because he supported Parliament’s Parliament Legislative body of the British government; target of much of the colonists’ anger because of its mismanagement of colonial policies Democratic America The colonies should separate from Great Britain and create a representative government. Independence Benefits the World An independent America will have better relationships with other world powers. Monarchies Violate Nature All people are born equal, so royal status is not only unnatural, but against God, the only true ruler. Beginning the World Over Again Part logical explanation, part scathing rant, Paine's Common Sense presents a compelling case for the dissolution of British rule over the American colonies. Paine's persuasive words rallied the 13 disparate colonies around a common cause and provided the building blocks for the United States' democratic government. MAIN IDEAS Thomas Paine, Part 4 t is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies. French Original Language 1946 Years Published Jean-Paul Sartre Author English Original Language 1776 Year Published Thomas Paine Author Common Sense Primary Source History

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