Paine’s Common Sense

  • H. M. Drucker


Common Sense appeared on 10 January 1776. It was Tom Paine’s first important work and the first work of any length he had written since arriving in America a year previously. Paine’s Radicalism grew in the course of his life and was by no means fully developed at the time of writing Common Sense; but the year of journalism in Pennsylvania had taught him how to express his sentiments in a popular style.


Common Sense European Economic Community Universal Benefit Rhetorical Form Liberal Nationalism 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    M. D. Conway, The Life of Thomas Paine (London, 1909) p. 26.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. Paine, Common Sense, in M. Conway (ed.), The Writings of Thomas Paine, vol 1: 1774–1779 (London, 1909) p. 71.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    H. H. Clark ‘Thomas Paine’s Theories of Rhetoric’, Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, XXVIII (1933) 309–35.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Paine, Common Sense, p. 74.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid., p. 75.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid., p. 76.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ibid., p. 81.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ibid., p. 84.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., p. 89.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    This information is extrapoled from the British Museum Catalogue. Several editions are undated.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    See also Shils, ‘Ideology and Civility’, pp. 450–80.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    R. Aron, The Opium of the Intellectuals (London, 1957) p. 112; see also M. Oakeshott, ‘Scientific Politics’, Cambridge Journal, x, 6 (Mar 1948) 351: ‘Fascism tout court is, of course, something that exists only in the mind of the doctrinaire Communist; it is an idol of propaganda.’Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Williams, M. ‘Up the Polls’ New Society (9 July 1970) pp. 61–2.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Conway, Life of Thomas Paine, pp. 23–4, 26, 29; A. O. Aldridge, Man of Reason: The Life of Thomas Paine (London, 1959) pp. 34–40.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Paine, Works, vol. 1, p. 395.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Aristotle, Rhetorica, 1357b ff.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    E. Burke, ‘Philosophical Inquiry into our ldeas of the Sublime and the Beautiful’, in Works (London, 1890) vol. 1. See Clark, ‘Thomas Paine’s Theories of Rhetoric’, p. 316, where it is suggested that Paine read Burke.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Burke, Works, vol 1, p. 170.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    See M. Janowitz, ‘Content Analysis and the Study of the “Symbolic Environment”’, in A. A. Rogow (ed.), Politics, Personality and Social Science in the Twentieth Century: Essays in Honor of Harold D. Lasswell (Chicago, 1969).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© H. M. Drucker 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. M. Drucker
    • 1
  1. 1.University of EdinburghUK

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