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thomas paine

Thomas Paine's Mighty Pen

"Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain." John Adams

"That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly." Thomas Paine The American Crisis

"Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to what is dictated to it." Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine's Common Sense was published in Philadelphia on Jan. 10, 1776. It was published anonymously.
The first edition sold out quickly, selling 120,000 copies in three months and half a million copies in the first year. He paid for the first printing himself. Mr. Paine donated his share of the royalties from the sales of the pamphlet to buy mittens for Continental Army soldiers. 1

General George Washington ordered Thomas Paine's The American Crisis to be read to the troops on
December 25, 1776, prior to the crossing of the Delaware River for the attack on Trenton.

What were his pamphlets about?


Is it an example of narrative, persuasive or informative writing?


What was the impact of either pamphlet?


Give an example of how Thomas Paine's words: live on today, are reflected in the Declaration of Independence or impacted the Constitution of 1787.


Listen to Common Sense in mp3 audio format.

quill and potExtras:

* Paine wrote "Government is best that governs least. Society represents all that is good about humanity,
government represents all that is bad about it."

What grade do you believe Paine would give our current government of the United States? Explain.


* Examine the life of Thomas Paine. Where was he born? What was his place in society? Where is he buried?


* How has our nation recognized Paine for his important contributions to the American Revolution?


* Watch: Timeline Introduction to Benjamin Banneker -

Do it - Make a timeline for Thomas Paine

* If Paine were alive today, what communication resource(s) would he use to disseminate his messages?

* Watch the Revolutionary War documentary movie called Winter Patriots on the Mount Vernon web site. Exceptional


"He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible.
Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. " Thomas Alva Edison


1. Nelson, Craig, Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations, Viking Adult, September 21, 2006

Civics and Constitution Projects - Go to Essays | Sen Byrd's speech | Go to Extras | Quotes | Government - The Common Good

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posted 5/2007, In the spirit of Thomas Paine - released to public domain by Cynthia J. O'Hora

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Put your name and the date in a header. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid symbol, blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work. I do not like losing mine. You will not like it either. Submit your response via a class drop box or email. Bad things happen: Save a copy of your work on your computer. Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it. Make your own answer sheet.

Proof read your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets worck. smiling icon