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Common Sense

by Thomas Paine


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This is the little book which provided the rationale for the American colonists to struggle for independence from English rule. Relative to the size of the population at the time, it is the US best seller of all time; it sold half a million copies in the first year, going through twenty-five editions. Paine wrote Common Sense like a sermon, using Biblical references to make his point, despite his Deist views. However, this style appealed to a broad audience, not just intellectuals. Paine even put his money on the line: he donated all royalties from Common Sense, which were substantial, to the Continental Army of George Washington.--J.B. Hare

Title Page
Table of Contents
I. Of the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution
II. Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession
III. Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs
IV. Of the Present Ability of America, with Some Miscellaneous Reflexions