Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Common Sense, penned by Thomas Paine, was published in January of 1776. Paine, a native of England and friend of Benjamin Franklin, came to America where he witnessed the hostility between Britain and the colonies firsthand. He wrote Common Sense to encourage the thirteen colonies to stand for freedom and independence. America had only 3 million citizens then, but half a million copies sold, literally sweeping the nation. George Washington credits this pamphlet as a turning point in American thinking.