Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Date of Publication: 1776

Sixth Edition. A political treatise first published on January 10, 1776 urging immediate separation from England. 

Of this Paine states, “Everything that is right or natural pleads for separation.  The blood of the slain, the weeping voices of nature cries, tis time to part.”   Within a few months, more than a hundred thousand copies were published in America.  The work was influential in bringing about the Declaration of Independence, as Jefferson was an avid supporter of many of Paine’s ideas and cautions.  Of government and society, Paine makes the claim, “Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness: the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices… .The first is a patron, the last a punisher.  Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.” #0270