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Folios for Signature Binding: Common Sense by Thomas Paine in 5.5" x 8.5"

This is a print-ready PDF textblock of Thomas Paine's Common Sense formatted to print on letter-sized paper in folios and signatures.  This file is free to paid-tier members of BOOKFORGE here on Patreon!



The text has been professionally typesetted by Edward Patrick Kranz and is intended to keep the aesthetic look and feel of the original document. The old "long s" is not featured in this book version of the famous pamphlet, but I future file, designed specifically for pamphlet binding, will have that quirky letter included as per the original document.  

This is a new edition, with several additions in the body of the work. To which is added an appendix; together with an address to the people called Quakers.  



Everything you need (file-wise) to print a 5.5" x 8.5" book, Common Sense by Thomas Paine.  


The file is set up to print on 8.5" x 11" paper in landscape format. Signatures are set in groups of four folios. You will require a total of twenty sheets of paper for the textblock. 

 I can't give you advice on printer settings as there are too many different types of printers out there. I can tell you, that you need to print in duplex mode (two-sided) and you want to flip on the short end (for most printers). 


If you have any questions, feel free to message me. I'll do my best to answer them.


Thomas Paine's "Common Sense": A Revolutionary Manifesto


"Common Sense," penned by Thomas Paine and published in 1776, stands as one of the most influential pamphlets in American history. This concise yet powerful work played a pivotal role in shaping public sentiment and laying the intellectual groundwork for the American Revolution. In this detailed article, we'll explore the historical context, content, and lasting impact of "Common Sense."


Prelude to Revolution: In the early years of the American colonies, tensions between the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain were escalating. Discontent over British taxation policies, particularly the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, fueled a growing desire for independence. By the mid-1770s, the relationship had deteriorated further, and the outbreak of armed conflict in April 1775 at Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War.


The Need for a Revolutionary Narrative: Amidst this turmoil, Thomas Paine, an English-born political activist, and pamphleteer who had recently arrived in the American colonies, recognized the need for a unifying and persuasive narrative that could galvanize public opinion toward independence. "Common Sense" emerged as his response to this imperative.


Authorship and Style: Thomas Paine, known for his straightforward and persuasive writing style, penned "Common Sense" with the aim of reaching a broad audience. Published anonymously on January 10, 1776, the pamphlet quickly gained widespread attention.

Main Arguments: "Common Sense" presented a compelling case for independence and sought to dismantle the loyalty many colonists still felt toward the British monarchy. Paine argued for the inherent right of the American colonies to govern themselves and criticized the notion of hereditary monarchy. He also questioned the practicality of maintaining ties with a distant and often indifferent monarchy.


Monarchy and Hereditary Succession: Paine challenged the legitimacy of monarchical rule and hereditary succession. He argued that a small island like Great Britain should not wield undue influence over a vast continent like North America. Paine asserted that the institution of monarchy was inherently flawed, leading to arbitrary and oppressive governance.

Independence and Republicanism: "Common Sense" advocated for complete independence from British rule and the establishment of a republican form of government.


Paine envisioned a system in which representatives elected by the people would govern, emphasizing the inherent right of individuals to participate in the political process.

Practicality of Independence: Paine addressed the practical aspects of independence, assuaging fears and concerns about severing ties with Britain. He argued that self-governance would lead to greater prosperity and security for the American colonies.


Public Reception: "Common Sense" had an unprecedented impact on public opinion. Its accessible language and compelling arguments resonated with a wide audience, including those who had been hesitant about breaking away from British rule. The pamphlet sold in large numbers and was widely circulated, contributing significantly to the momentum for independence.


The Spark for Independence: The ideas presented in "Common Sense" served as a catalyst for the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Paine's call for complete separation from British rule found resonance among the Continental Congress and the general population.


Enduring Significance: "Common Sense" remains a foundational document in American political history. Paine's eloquent and passionate defense of independence continues to be studied and celebrated, emphasizing the enduring power of words in shaping the course of nations.


Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" transcends its historical context, standing as a testament to the power of ideas and the written word in shaping the destiny of a nation. By articulating the case for independence with clarity and conviction, Paine ignited the spark that fueled the American Revolution and laid the groundwork for the creation of a new and independent nation. "Common Sense" remains a literary and political landmark, embodying the spirit of revolutionary ideals that continue to resonate in the annals of American history.

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