Common Sense
Thomas Paine (1776)

"Common Sense" was a pamphlet Paine wrote asking for independence in Britain and it became very popular to the people at that time. The pamphlet was estimated to have produced about 100,000 copies where many people believed that the "Common Sense" was the solid outlines of the revolution's goal. The matters in the pamphlet was discussed everywhere; in schools, clubs and the average public man. The matters also brought along debates about the monarchy, the origin of government, constitutional ideas and independence. Independence was the self-governing of the state rather than having a monarch rule and govern the country, so for Paine to suggest independence after years of ruling of an absolute monarchy seem radical.

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The Enlightenment was a period of critical thinking, where people started to question tradition, challenge churches oppressive nature and started to apply scientific reasoning to life questions. New scientific discoveries brought upon new belief and when more and more evidences were founded to prove the tradition wrong, people started to change their opinions on life. Many time scientists such as Newton, were accused of being a heretic by the Catholic Church for publishing works that went against the old tradition of the Bible and words of old philosophers (Plato). The main philosophers of the Enlightenment came from England, where they discussed and argued about rational thinking, tolerance (such as religious tolerance) and progression of human beings. These philosophers created an outline for people to develop their own belief or used it as their own device to drive new reforms, political ideas or influences. Locke was one of the many important philosopher who changed the view on politics which was originally governed by the monarchy; he stated that people desires for a democratic government and surrendering of some freedom was in exchange for benefits (liberty and rights) and that the government was to act on the behalf of the people.

Common Sense
*supported America's complete independence of Britain
*implied Locke's ideas of independence
-where independence was the will of people and revolutions were created to bring happiness
*Paine defense for Britain changing to an independent country was that the monarchy were corrupted, wasn't thinking of the nation's good, weakening the Parliament and feeding the people with wrong ideals
-government was created by human desire to restrain lawlessness but because people created it, it can be corrupted
-the simpler the government, the easier it is to see the weakness of the government and easier it is to adjust it to one's needs (criticizing monarchy government)


Schutz, John A. "Common Sense." Encyclopedia Americana. 2010. Grolier Online. 19 June. 2010 <http://ea.grolier.com/article?id=0103050-00>.