Thomas Paine's "Common Sense"

Today we'd use social media to quickly spread a controversial idea, but in the eighteenth century, the printed pamphlet was highly effective. And Thomas Paine took full advantage of it. On January 9, 1776, when Paine published his pamphlet, "Common Sense," he wanted to push the American people toward independence from Britain. It ultimately helped ignite the American Revolution. Thomas Paine argued that the monarchy was evil and should be rejected as a form of government. To underscore his point, he cited the Bible to argue his case -- in Judges 8:22-23: "The Israelites said to Gideon, 'Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson....' Gideon told them, 'I will not rule over you. The LORD will rule over you'" (NRSV).

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