George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

Common Sense


This important pamphlet created by Thomas Paine inspired the colonists to fight for their independence. Published anonymously on January 10, 1776, it was written in simple English so that as many people could understand it as possible. Paine questioned England’s authority and explained that it went against common sense for such a small nation to rule America. This convinced the majority of Americans to support the revolution. Later on, George Washington even read it to motivate his troops during a difficult time in the American Revolutionary War.
This pamphlet is the best selling American work to date!

Paine referred to the English King as “the Pharaoh of England” and “the Royal Brute of Great Britain.”


At first, many people assumed that John Adams was the pamphlet’s author.

Almost 120,000 copies were sold in the first three months of its release.

Paine’s ideas were very controversial. Even John Adams and Thomas Jefferson denounced many of them as too radical.