On January 10th, 1776, English-born American political philosopher and activist Thomas Paine (1737-1809) anonymously published a short pamphlet entitled Common Sense -- an argument against the monarchy and inherited privileges of the noble classes. This sensational document was printed with twenty-five editions in its first year, and it influenced the start of the American Revolution (1765-1783) by igniting revolutionary spirit and advocating independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain. Read aloud in public spaces with great appeal to common folk, the pamphlet addressed, the "Origin and Design of Government in General, With Concise Remarks on the English Constitution"; "Monarchy and Hereditary Succession"; "Thoughts on the Present State of American Affairs"; and "Present Ability of America, With Some Miscellaneous Reflections." The call to action made clear the case for independence, with the Continental Congress soon declaring the colonies free and independent on July 4th, 1776.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Peabody, T. P. (1879, Jul 17). Thomas Paine: The Nation That He Was the Author Of the Declaration Of Independence. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1922)
- Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". (1918, Jun 24). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-)
- Neuman, H. (1926, Jan 20). A Paine Anniversary: The Sesquicentennial Of the Great Pamphlet "Common Sense". The New York Herald, New York Tribune (1924-1926)
- Thomas Paine's Old House: Thomas Paine. (1930, Mar 09). New York Times (1923-)
- Roper, R. C. (1934, Nov 18). Constitution's Plan Attributed To Paine: Appearance Of His "Common Sense" Is Credited With Convincing Us We Needed Independence. New York Times (1923-)
- Nevins, A (1945, Dec 23). Thomas Paine, World Citizen: His Writings Remind Us Again Of His Eloquent Defense Of the Common Man. New York Times (1923-)
- Henry, S. C. (1946, Feb 03). The Versatile, Modern Mind Of Thomas Paine. New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Kirsch, R. (1973, Dec 02). Books: Common Sense Perspective On Tom Paine. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Cassidy, R. (1974, Apr 28). Rebel With a Cause: The Stormy Life Of Thomas Paine. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Shenker, I. (1976, Jan 10). Thomas Paine, Radical of 1776, Honored Belatedly By City Fathers. New York Times (1923-)
- Paine, Thomas. Common Sense and Other Works. Minneapolis, Minnesota: First Avenue Editions, 2019. e-book
- Paine, Thomas. The Rights of Man Being an Answer to Mr. Burke’s Attack on the French Revolution. Auckland: The Floating Press, 2010. e-book
- "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine - Museum of the American Revolution, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries (coming soon)
Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check the news postings on Learning at the Library, where you can delve into history.