On this day… birthday of Common Sense author, Thomas Paine

On this day…

Thomas Paine, an influential writer of essays and pamphlets, was born on January 29, 1737. Paine was most famous for his Common Sense pamphlet, and was an enormous inspiration behind the American colonists breaking away from Great Britain.

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England as a son of a Quaker. Paine did not have much success in England, but in 1774, met Benjamin Franklin in London. Benjamin Franklin advised that Paine emigrate from Great Britain to America, and gave him a letter of recommendation.

When Paine arrived in Philadelphia on November 30, 1774, he began work as a publicist and soon became the co-editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine. He sensed the rising tensions in the Colonies after the Boston Tea Party. In his mind, the Colonies had the right to revolt against the government, as they were being taxed without representation in Parliament. Paine took his views even further and felt that there was no reason for the Colonies to have any dependent connection to England whatsoever. He formulated these views into his pamphlet Common Sense on January 10, 1776.


In Common Sense, Paine, through “nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments and common sense”, argued that the Colonies must declare independence as they had lost touch with England. Common Sense swayed many colonists towards supporting independence that had originally been neutral on the issue. It became the best-selling American book of the time, selling an estimated 500,000 copies.


Common Sense

You can find more information on Thomas Paine and Common Sense in Causes of the American Revolution: Countdown to Independence: Thomas Paine, The Declaration of Independence: A Foundation of Ideas for a New Age: “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine, and more, at Discoveryeducation.com!!!