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Common Sense (Thomas Paine)

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Common Sense, printed in Philadelphia by W. and T. Bradford

Common Sense was a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolution, originally published on January 10, 1776 in Philadelphia. It blamed the British monarch, referring to George III as the "royal brute", for the political turmoil in the colonies. It provided arguments against England's right to rule over the colonies and was the first written work that called for the colonies to declare their independence.

Paine consulted with physician Dr. Benjamin Rush while writing and it was Rush who suggested the pamphlet's title. It was published anonymously and it instantly became a best-seller, being reprinted in multiple times and selling over 150,000 copies. It was written in a manner that appealed to all Americans, not just the educated elite. It heavily influenced the creation of the Declaration of Independence just six months later.

Common Sense prompted a written response by a Loyalist named James Chalmers. The tract was titled Plain Truth and published under the pseudonym Candidus.