Common Sense by Thomas Paine. It was a little book, one little book that changed the world. How's that happen? How could one little book make have such a big impact? The book in case you don’t know is Common Sense by Thomas Paine. What was so profound about it?
By the end of 1776 it's estimated that 1 in 5 Americans had read Common Sense by Thomas Paine. No other book has ever reached so many people so quickly. No other book has had such a profound impact on a country. No other book has had such a profound impact on the principles of freedom and proper government.
Maybe you never heard of Common Sense by Thomas Paine but that doesn’t change the fact that it remains today the bestselling American title of all time. What was it about? Why was it so important? How did it impact America? And, why would anybody care today?
The book at its core is a call for independence from Great Britain. That was the purpose of the book, to convince the colonists that independence was necessary. But, the Declaration of Independence had been signed and the revolutionary war was under way. So, why was this book needed? Why would it be necessary to convince people of the cause of independence if the declaration had been signed and the revolutionary war begun?
The simple answer is division, the country was very divided. It’s been said that half the people living in the colonies didn’t want independence. That’s a shocking fact for people who don’t know it, but it’s true. Of course, there was a reason they felt this way. In essence they were afraid. They felt that remaining a colony of Britain would provide safety and security they otherwise wouldn’t have. Fear is a powerful motivator and the people that wanted to remain loyal to Britain were well convinced it was the right thing to do.
So, there was a difference of opinion. One side wanted freedom, the other side wanted what they believed to be safety security. That’s why this book was so important. It made the case for freedom, acknowledging both sides of the argument Thomas Paine made his case in plain language and simple arguments. He also explained why. He created understanding, and this is what makes Common Sense by Thomas Paine so effective even today.
That’s one of the reasons it’s still a very important book. So that we can understand why our government is the way it is. So that we can understand why certain principles were so important to the founding fathers. Why there needs to be a proper limitation of government. Why the constitution says the things it does. So, even today this is very important reading.