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Born: January 29, 1737 - Thetford, England
Died: June 8, 1809 - New York, NY

Excerpt from Common Sense

Ihave never met with a man, either in England or America, who hath not confessed his opinion, that a separation between the countries, would take place one time or other. And there is no instance in which we have shown less judgment, than in endeavoring to describe, what we call, the ripeness or fitness of the Continent for independence.
As all men allow the measure, and vary only in their opinion of the time, let us, in order to remove mistakes, take a general survey of things and endeavor if possible, to find out the very time. But we need not go far, the inquiry ceases at once, for the time hath found us. The general concurrence, the glorious union of all things prove the fact.

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Teaching Topics in Social Studies
Thomas Paine was a PAMPHLETEER, using the written word to spread political ideas first in Common Sense, then in the American Crisis papers.
Timeline
His interest in SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY may have been fueled by several years spent working as an EXCISE TAX collector. His written works fueled the AMERICAN REVOLUTION where he also served as a soldier. After the war, he moved to FRANCE where he continued to propogate his ideas on DEISM and FREEDOM through writing and in political work.  
Teaching Topics in Language Arts
Thomas Paine's power as a writer came through his STYLE-he wrote for an AUDIENCE, the common man; his TONE was strong and passionate. Common Sense was a PUBLISHING SENSATION,
Scavenger Hunt
Where is Thomas Paine buried?
. . . answer . . .
selling over 100,000 copies in just three months. Through an ORAL READING, his first American Crisis paper served as a morale booster to all colonial regiments during the Revolution, including those under General George Washington, at Valley Forge.

Facts About Common Sense
  • Which is mightier the pen or the sword? John Adams said, "Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain."
  • The original pamphlet Common Sense was fifty pages long
  • Reports on the exact number vary, but some say Common Sense sold as many as 500,000 copies
  • Thomas Paine donated all the proceeds from Common Sense to the patriot cause


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