Milestones: Thomas Paine Publishes Common Sense

On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published the pamphlet “Common Sense” advocating American independence.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine (Public Domain)

“When I was teaching children I began every day writing this on the blackboard: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you”, telling them how much better the world would be if everybody lived by this rule.”


Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Forty seven pages advocating independence from Great Britain was an immediate success for those who lived in the Thirteen Colonies. Published anonymously, Thomas Paine managed to keep his name out of the independence controversy for three months.

Thomas Paine never profited from Common Sense. But he did change the world.

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

11 thoughts on “Milestones: Thomas Paine Publishes Common Sense

  1. What an interesting booklet to have published anonymously, Rebecca. Common Sense seems to be sadly lacking in our society. After all, no-one with any common sense would go about destroying the planet they live on and can’t survive without?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How very well said, Robbie. We always think that we are not on the same planet as the “others” who are destroying the planet. I always wonder what the backstory is for the “anonymous” publications. George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott also published anonymously. Hmmmnnn

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HI Rebecca, I suppose if you are really stepping out of your comfort zone and making very controversial statements that could make your life difficult, it makes sense to do it anonymously. However, anonymous writings never carry the weight that publications that are authored do. It is a catch 22.

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  2. Valuable words from the first years of the United States–the words given, I suppose to the thirteen colonies and to their “Mother” country.. In those first years in the “New World”, I wonder just how much they understood about “common sense”. Their long voyage from the “Old World” to the “New world” would not have seemed like a lot of “common sense”‘ But, I suppose those words helped to bring Independence to a new Nation!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a pivotal time in history, wasn’t it, Frances. As I look back on the last 2 years, then to the decades before and then farther back into history, it seems that every “time” was pivotal. We may like to have certainty, but it seems we do our best in uncertainty. Many thanks for you comments. Sending hugs.


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