1st Edition

An Analysis of Thomas Paine's Common Sense





ISBN 9781912128679
Published July 15, 2017 by Macat Library
101 Pages

USD $8.95

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Book Description

Thomas Paine’s 1776 Common Sense has secured an unshakeable place as one of history’s most explosive and revolutionary books. A slim pamphlet published at the beginning of the American Revolution, it was so widely read that it remains the all-time best selling book in US history.

An impassioned argument for American independence and for democratic government, Common Sense can claim to have helped change the face of the world more than almost any other book. But Paine’s pamphlet is also a masterclass in critical thinking, demonstrating how the reasoned construction of arguments can be reinforced by literary skill and passion. Paine is perhaps more famous as a stylist than as a constructor of arguments, but Common Sense marries the best elements of good reasoning to its polemic. Moving systematically from the origins of government, through a criticism of monarchy, and on to the possibilities for future democratic government in an independent America, Paine neatly lays out a series of persuasive reasons to fight for independence and a new form of government. Indeed, as the pamphlet’s title suggested, to do so was nothing more than ‘common sense.’

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text 

Who was Thomas Paine?  

What does Common Sense Say?  

Why does Common Sense  Matter? 

Section 1: Influences  

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

 Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next?  

Glossary of Terms  

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Ian Jackson is a PhD student in the Politics, Philosophy and Religion department at Lancaster University. He is interested in the role new media plays in the dissemination of ideas.