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Word Count: 866
Why Common Sense When Thomas Paine a Quaker from England arrived at Philadelphia in 1774 he brought with him the spirit of English radicalism which would later help to shape the future of an emerging nation As colonists struggled both physically to defend their rights and their land from England they were also engaged in a moral battle Whereas some colonists favored reconciliation with their mother country there was a growing number who favored a break from the monarchy By 1776 Thomas Paine felt that the time was right for him to provide a voice for the increasing number of discontented colonists His anonymous pamphlet Common Sense proved to be unbelievably successful in turning the tide of public opinion amongst the colonists towards an immediate break from England and towards independence Although the pamphlet contained strong and highly reasoned arguments much of its success in promoting independence rather than reconciliation was rooted in Paines rhetorical strategy The way in which the pamphlet is set up forces readers to make a clear choice between liberty independence or tyranny reconciliation By entitling his work Common Sense Thomas Paine reinforces support for his argument for independence by implying that any dissenters lack common sense Common Sense is composed in such a way that it enables the average colonist to gain a deeper understanding of the events unfolding before him Divided into four basic parts that move from the general and the theoretical to the specific Paine consistently writes in a format that presents an argument for reconciliation and immediately following strongly refutes that argument with sound reasoning for the contrary path total and immediate independence from England For example on page 83 Paine addresses the issue of the colonies having thrived under England I have heard it asserted by some that America hath flourished under her former connexion with Great-Britain that the same connextion is necessary towards her future happiness and will always have the same
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