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).

Share

More Book Minute Features

September 16, 2019

The Mayflower Sets Sail

On this day, September 16, 1620, a merchant ship called the Mayflower set sail from England. Most of the 102 passengers were Pilgrims breaking ties wi...
September 09, 2019

National Teddy Bear Day

Let’s celebrate National Teddy Bear Day with a nod to President Theodore Roosevelt. On a hunting trip in 1902, “Teddy” had not bagged a bear, so an ai...
September 02, 2019

John Phillips’ Heart Shield Bible

Like many soldiers in World War II, John Phillips received a pocket-sized New Testament before shipping off to Europe – a gift from the President. Slo...