HIST 116: The American Revolution

Lecture 10 - Common Sense. This lecture focuses on the best-selling pamphlet of the American Revolution: Thomas Paine's Common Sense, discussing Paine's life and the events that led him to write his pamphlet. Published in January of 1776, it condemned monarchy as a bad form of government, and urged the colonies to declare independence and establish their own form of republican government. Its incendiary language and simple format made it popular throughout the colonies, helping to radicalize many Americans and pushing them to seriously consider the idea of declaring independence from Britain. (from

Lecture 10 - Common Sense

Time Lecture Chapters
[00:00:00] 1. Introduction: Voting on Voting
[00:01:40] 2. On Paine's Burial
[00:05:52] 3. Colonial Mindset during the Second Continental Congress
[00:12:28] 4. Serendipity and Passion: The Early Life of Thomas Paine
[00:21:53] 5. Major Arguments and Rhetorical Styles in "Common Sense"
[00:33:45] 6. "Common Sense's" Popularity and Founders' Reactions
[00:39:16] 7. Social Impact of the Pamphlet and Conclusion

Lecture 10 - Common Sense
Instructor: Professor Joanne Freeman. Transcript [html]. Audio [mp3]. Download Video [mov].

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Lecture 01 - Introduction: Freeman's Top Five Tips for Studying the Revolution
Lecture 02 - Being a British Colonist
Lecture 03 - Being a British American
Lecture 04 - "Ever at Variance and Foolishly Jealous": Intercolonial Relations
Lecture 05 - Outraged Colonials: The Stamp Act Crisis
Lecture 06 - Resistance or Rebellion? (Or, What the Heck is Happening in Boston?)
Lecture 07 - Being a Revolutionary
Lecture 08 - The Logic of Resistance
Lecture 09 - Who Were the Loyalists?
Lecture 10 - Common Sense
Lecture 11 - Independence
Lecture 12 - Civil War
Lecture 13 - Organizing a War
Lecture 14 - Heroes and Villains
Lecture 15 - Citizens and Choices: Experiencing the Revolution in New Haven
Lecture 16 - The Importance of George Washington
Lecture 17 - The Logic of a Campaign (or, How in the World Did We Win?)
Lecture 18 - Fighting the Revolution: The Big Picture
Lecture 19 - War and Society
Lecture 20 - Confederation
Lecture 21 - A Union Without Power
Lecture 22 - A Road to the Constitutional Convention
Lecture 23 - Creating a Constitution
Lecture 24 - Creating a Nation
Lecture 25 - Being an American: The Legacy of the Revolution