An Introduction to Thomas Paine's Common Sense

Most American are familiar with Thomas Paine's impassioned plea about the importance of liberty, but they may not be as familiar with the other ideas put forth in his pamphlet Common Sense. Introduce class members to Paine's revolutionary ideas with a short video.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups research the other arguments Paine puts forth in Common Sense and present their findings to the class
Classroom Considerations

  • The full analysis of Common Sense is available at the publisher's website with a free trial membership or paid subscription
  • The video focuses on only Paine's arguments against unfair taxation
Pros

  • The video compares British taxes to protection money paid to gangs
Cons

  • Some viewers may be confused by the example used to illustrate Paine's ideas