Claremont McKenna College
Analysis of Thomas Paine's Common Sense
This question, specifically requested by Claremont McKenna College, explores the impact Thomas Paine, as a revolutionary and a great leader, had on American history with his essay "Common Sense".
Of all the founding fathers in America's history, few have played a role equaling the paramount importance of Thomas Paine, and few have been so repeatedly overlooked. At a time when even the most devout patriot stood uncertainly in the shadow of British tyranny, Thomas Paine wrote with power and charisma enough to fortify the resolve of young America; single handedly rousing thousands to join the Revolutionary cause. Rising from a modest upbringing in England to become America's most outspoken patriot, Paine was indisputably responsible, at least in part, for stirring up the seeds of war that would eventually lead to the birth of a new nation.
Born in the country town of Thetford in 1737, Thomas Paine was not always a master of rhetoric and rebellions. For the first thirty years of his life Paine, like his father, worked as a staymaker in England. However, Paine was far from happy with the monotonous banality of his career, so he began to study politics. He wrote furiously for several years, occasionally drafting pamphlets, but ultimately remaining penniless. Then, in 1774, Paine was approached by Benjamin Franklin, who persuaded the struggling writer to seek work in America. Upon arrival, Paine worked a short stint...
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