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An “opinion” towards revolution

Posted by: | September 18, 2012 | No Comment |

Published as a pamphlet in January 1776, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” has been recognized as one of the greatest “opinion pieces” of all time.

Image courtesy of http://cclose.edublogs.org/2012/06/05/common-sense/

After being dismissed in England for his written opinions, Paine emigrated to the colonies where he became a journalist, editing and contributing articles to the Pennsylvania Magazine, but his greatest work was yet to come.

Originally published anonymously,”Common Sense” advocated for the independence of the American colonies from Great Britain.  The 47-page pamphlet sold some 500,000 copies and is known as one the most influential in American history.

In “Common Sense”, Paine declares that he offers “nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.”  He tailored his work towards the language of the people by avoiding flowery prose and making his points straightforward.  Paine was not a religious man, but understood his readers were. Using quotes from the Bible, his arguments rang credible to what many Patriots were already thinking.

While pamphlets are used less today, it was an important medium to spread ideas during that era and all the way through the 19th century.  At a time were Americans were divided amongst themselves, “Common Sense” played a tremendous role in transforming a colonial squabble into the American Revolution.

 

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