This lecture focuses on the best-selling pamphlet of the American Revolution: Thomas Paine's Common Sense, discussing Paine's life and the events that led him to write his pamphlet. Published in January of 1776, it condemned monarchy as a bad form of government, and urged the colonies to declare independence and establish their own form of republican government. Its incendiary language and simple format made it popular throughout the colonies, helping to radicalize many Americans and pushing them to seriously consider the idea of declaring independence from Britain.
Paine, Common Sense
Bailyn, Faces of Revolution, chapter 4
Raphael, A People's History of the American Revolution, chapter 4
Brown, Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, pp. 229-30, 233-38, 247-54