"Common Sense" was written by Thomas Paine in 1776. This 48-page pamphlet was the first publication to openly request that Great Britain give the American Colonies their independence. It was also enormously influential in the crafting of the Declaration of Independence.
Paine's pamphlet is divided into four major sections addressing, in order, the rational reasons behind government, the role and sensibility of monarchy, the state of American affairs at the time and the military potential of the Colonies. This document, written in plain, simple language, was among the first introducing ordinary American colonists to the upcoming revolution. "Common Sense" inspired several items on the list of the grievances in the Declaration of Independence.