In 1737, Thomas Paine was born in Thetford. In 1793, he was imprisoned in France for not supporting the execution of Louis XVI. While he was in prision, he wrote and showed the first part of his most famous work at the time, the anti-church text piece. He was let go from prison in 1794 with the help of James Monroe, the U.S. Minister to France and England.
Common Sense, was originally published anonymously, advocated the independence for the American colonies from Britain. It is considered one of the most influential pamphlets in American history. Its author, Thomas Paine, donated his considerable profits, from 500,000 copies sold in the first year, to Continental Army. Paine was born in England in 1737 and worked as a corset maker in his teens and, later, as a sailor and schoolteacher before becoming a prominent pamphleteer.
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church." from Thomas Paine - Age of Reason
How did Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense convince reluctant Americans to abandon the goal of reconciliation with Britain and accept that separation from Britain — independence — was the only option for preserving their liberty?
First published anonymously on January 10, 1776, before the American Revolution, it was signed "Written by an Englishman", & was an immediate success. Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided. Most Englishman thought it a traitorous diatribe against King and Country.
"Pamphlets such as Tom Paine’s had an intentionally short fuse. Common Sense says little that’s new about natural rights or government. But what was innovative was the popular rhetorical strategy Paine used to convey those ideas." --Russ Castronovo, author of Propaganda 1776 (Cover of Common Sense, the pamphlet. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.) #FourthofJuly