Wednesday, 11 January 2017

On Thomas Paine's Common Sense

Thomas Paine published his famous pamphlet Common Sense on January 9, 1776.

In context of the 18th century, Common Sense was the superb articulation of liberty oriented ideas of the Age of Enlightenment. In just 48-pages, Paine made a “commonsensical” political argument for liberty; he proposed that people have the right to choose their own government, and to revolt against it.

The pamphlet was widely read and galvanized support for armed rebellion against the monarchy. Here’s a quote from the pamphlet:

O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her.—Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.

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