When Thomas Paine’s Common Sense first came out, advocating a split from Britain, the reactions were mixed between uproar and support. Whether the citizens agreed with it or not, his message played a massive role in the formation of the U.S.A. as we know it today. But what exactly did Paine’s little essay do for the Patriot cause?

America was pretty whack in 1776

Oh, America in 1776. What’s better than a whole year that was essentially a massive middle-finger to Britain? When the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of independence on July 4th, 1776, severing their ties from the oppressive, grumpy Britain, it symbolized the creation of the United States that we know and tolerate today. But what exactly led to their massive, ugly breakup?

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Well, besides Britain being bossy, controlling jerks, plenty of people in the colonies were hard at work encouraging America to call off their love/hate affair with them. These Patriots argued for how social, economic, and national independence would make the colonies even more epic. One of the most influential of these was Thomas Paine, whose simple, little pamphlet kicked butt for the Patriot cause.

Thomas Paine was kind of a big deal

In terms of helping to form America, Thomas Paine pretty much did it all. Honestly, the fact that he was a Founding Father was the least interesting thing about him. He was also a philosopher, politician, author, and Patriot, penning plenty of influential texts during his life. However, the most common amongst these was a little essay called Common Sense…which irreversibly altered America’s views on independence.

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On the surface, Common Sense may have seemed like a glorified op-ed, but the text revealed Paine’s deeper dreams for American independence. Thanks to the limited vocabulary and conciseness, the essay spread across the U.S. like wildfire, being consumed by everyone who could get their hands on the politically-charged document. But what exactly did Paine’s epic essay advocate for?

It’s called Common Sense for a reason…

Essentially, Paine told it as it was. He was over Britain’s B.S. – and he was ready to call it quitsies. In Common Sense, he advocated for the Patriot’s cause, announcing that he truly wanted the best for the colonies…and that a split from Britain would be the only way to accomplish that. Still, what fully set his essay apart wasn’t the semi-controversial cry for freedom.

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Paine also revolutionized the country’s idea of politics, arguing for a form of government that wouldn’t result in the oppression of its citizens (thanks a lot, Britain!). Essentially, he was all for a solid democracy, and he encouraged everyone else to hop on board with representation. I mean, they’d have tons more rights, right? Thankfully, plenty of people agreed with his opinions on the necessity of a split, and months later, he saw his Common Sense dream come to fruition.