Talk:Common Sense (pamphlet)

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There is a 3/5 near the end of the article that doesn't look very good. I don't know how to fix it, but someone probably does! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:02, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

provide link to free Common Sense audio narration?[edit]

I'd like to suggest a link to the audio narration of Common Sense at Americana Phonic. I did the narration, and suggest it not as an act of self-promotion, but rather as an important resource for those interested in the pamphlet. All of the audio at Americana Phonic is free. AmericanaPhonic (talk) 23:05, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

More detail[edit]

This page really needs more detail about what Common Sense says and what it brought about. IE: Its purpose, its main points, the public reaction, opinions of the public and other intellectual figures, and the general reprecussions. I'm doing an essay on it at the moment, so I don't have the time. But when I'm done I try and add a bit more detail, if I'm feeling competent enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this. My first impression when I read this article was that there was no section devoted to the pamphlet's impact. (talk) 00:20, 10 January 2011 (UTC) Scott from New Jersey, 1/9/2011

 Done – Paine Ellsworth ( CLIMAX )  21:28, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved Kotniski (talk) 11:21, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Common Sense (pamphlet)Common Sense — Redirect/article flip-flop; bestselling pamphlet should have a shorter name Purplebackpack89 20:10, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

So what you are saying is? I heartily disagree. Common Sense is one of the most widely read and influential publications in the History of the United States (I believe it was the most read non-religious work in the history of the world at one point), not an abstract concept that is widely open to interpretation Purplebackpack89 21:09, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
So? What we're saying is that "Common Sense" is not different enough from "Common sense", lexically, to serve as adequate disambiguation. That is, that most people looking for "Common Sense" are looking for common sense, not this article. Powers T 22:39, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with the opinions already stated, that Common Sense ought to redirect to Common sense. Gavia immer (talk) 00:53, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Support per WP:PRECISION. Common Sense is not the same as common sense. Many article titles on WP differ only by capitalization. Each topic can be at its respective 'best' title without conflict between the two. Anyone taking the trouble to type "Common Sense" with a capital "S" in the search box, or linking to it, is most likely expecting an article about the famous essay, and for those few who are not, a hatnote points them to the correct article. Even if there were a conflict, "common sense" is not the primary topic. In case this page is not moved, I oppose changing the redirect, which has numerous incoming links intending the pamphlet. Station1 (talk) 08:20, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think that most people are going to be looking for the pamphlet when they go looking for common sense. Common sense tells me they will more likely be looking for something else (bad joke I know I couldn't resist) and I don't think we should be ambiguous about this by a minor capitalization change to support the meaning of 2 completely different things. --Kumioko (talk) 03:09, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

"Most circulated"[edit]

Who can verify that fact in the introduction? It isn't cited... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zfrenchee (talkcontribs) 20:13, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

google finds lots of not-very-good sources. The introduction to the Kramnick book linked at the bottom gives some contemporary qualitative comments, but for a quantitative statement we'd need a genuine historian TEDickey (talk) 20:46, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

On: "Common Sense was signed "Written by an Englishman", and it became an immediate success"[edit]

Paine's first editor Robert Bell added “written by an Englishman” to the second edition, without the consent of Paine. The first edition was not signed with "written by an Englishman". (cf.Aldridge, Alfred O. Thomas Paine's American Ideology. Newark, Del.: U of Delaware P, 1984.) Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Checked, confirmed and  included in the first section. Thank you! – PAINE ELLSWORTH CLIMAX! 12:05, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


Where does this come from: "The impact of Paine's thin little pamphlet upon ... the other Founding Fathers and their construction of the Declaration of Independence ... was quickly spread and deeply felt"? This is not cited and no arguments are put forward in favour of this interpretation. Beyond that the sentence reads more like a personal essay than an encylcopedic entry. (talk) 13:10, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your input! I placed that summary comment in the section, and I think there are plenty of arguments put forward in favor of this interpretation. It (apparently unsuccessfully) tries to effectively summarize the tremendous impact of Paine's pamphlet. Maybe you had to be there? I'll give it more thought and attempt to improve it, or of course you might also do the same. – Paine Ellsworth CLIMAX! 14:01, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Use of "elites" in historical context[edit]

The sentence "European and colonial elites agreed that common people had no place in government or political debates" contains a modern, potentially biased use of the term elites that project current political ideas onto a historical period. At a minimum the use of the term should be corrected: "The elite of Europe and the Colonies agreed that..." However this remains a sweeping statement with problematic neutrality. Would aristocracy, nobility or establishment not be preferable?

Sean.Harris (talk) 11:37, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

"elite" works well; it's use in this sense is 200 years old says OED. There was no aristocracy or nobility in the American colonies. "elite" has the advantage it includes the landed gentry & other leaders like ministers. "establishment" is a term from the 1950s in britain. It's a common usage: eg: "During the ten years that followed [1765], the American colonial elites resisted these and other impositions by London. " from Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy (2006) Page 111; and "The Whig position, on the other hand, was represented by the American colonial elites, who, seeking to preserve and ... position with arguments about the need for a government balanced with monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements, ...." from Out of Many: A History of the American People (1999) - Page 183. Rjensen (talk) 12:11, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 May 2016[edit]

Ekadera (talk) 20:21, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

Please refer to House Resolution 331 in 1988. Go to It gives the Iroquois Confederacy recognition for the contribution it made to both our Constitution and to our structure of government. You can also reference the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian,, for further information. You can reference Fordham University for The Constitution of the Five Nations and a brief discussion of its impact on our Constitution and our Bill of Rights: There also is Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy, a book by Bruce Johnsen (Harvard Common Press 1982) There is Indian Givers: How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the World by Jack Weatherford (Fawcett 1988). Weatherford has a nice bibliography for chapters 7 and 8, which deal largely with the Iroquois Confederacy's contributions. A passage on page 125, from Indian Givers, on Thomas Paine is interesting: "The greatest political radical to follow the example of the Indians was probably Thomas Paine (1737-1809), the English Quaker and former craftsman who arrived in Philadelphia to visit Benjamin Franklin just in time for Christmas in 1774...Arriving in America he developed a sharp interest in the Indians, who seemed to be living in the natural state so alien to the urban and supposedly civilized life he encountered around himself. When the American Revolution started, Paine served as secretary to the commissioners sent to negotiate with the Iroquois at the town of Easton near Philadelphia on the Delaware River in January 1977 [Johansen, p.116]. Through this and subsequent encounters with the Indians, Paine sought to learn their language, and throughout the remainder of his political and writing career he used Indians as models of how society might be organized."

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. Cannolis (talk) 20:43, 12 May 2016 (UTC)

EDIT REQUEST - Common Sense was a 47-page pamphlet[edit]

This article should begin... Common Sense was a 47-page pamphlet. (Note: Its back page was blank.) (talk) 19:36, 2 July 2016 (UTC)