1776 CommonSense

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Subject Headings: American Revolution, Anti-Monarchy.

Notes

Cited By

2015

  • (Wikipedia, 2015) ⇒ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet) Retrieved:2015-12-6.
    • Common Sense [1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time were surrounding the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2] As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title. [3] Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in an easily understood style. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, relying on biblical references to make his case.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity. [5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as "the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era".[6]
  1. Full titleCommon Sense; Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, on the Following Interesting Subjects.
  2. Conway (1893).
  3. Harvey J. Kaye, Thomas Paine And The Promise of America (New York: Hill and Wang 2005). ISBN 0-8090-9344-8, 43.
  4. Wood (2002), pp. 55-56.
  5. Anthony J. Di Lorenzo, "Dissenting Protestantism as a Language of Revolution in Thomas Paine's Common Sense" in Eighteenth-Century Thought, Vol. 4, 2009. ISSN 1545-0449.
  6. Wood (2002), p. 55.

Quotes

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We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

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“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”

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“Time makes more converts than reason.”

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Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.

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“One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.”

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“From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom,”

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“For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.”

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“Give me liberty, or give me death.”

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References

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 AuthorvolumeDate ValuetitletypejournaltitleUrldoinoteyear
1776 CommonSenseThomas Paine (1737-1809)Common Sense1776