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Primary Sources - Workshop in American History Workshop 2 - Common Sense and the American Revolutionhomesitemap
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The American Revolution
Explore Common Sense and the American Revolution  by examining the original documents and images of the period
 marker image Before You Watch

Read these documents and examine these images before watching the video

marker image Lectures and Activities

Plan your workshop using these charts of video transcripts & professional development activities

marker image Classroom Applications

Ideas to take back to your classroom

marker image Additional Resources

Additional print and Web resources


This workshop explores the power and importance of America's first "bestseller," Thomas Paine's Common Sense. Using the language of ordinary folk, Paine called for revolution and challenged many commonly held assumptions about government and the colonies' relationship to England. By looking at Common Sense,comparing it with the local declarations of independence, and then comparing it with the Declaration of Independence, you can explore the growing support for American independence in the 1770s.


To gain a deeper understanding of historical content of the revolutionary period through reading and discussing primary source documents.

To gain greater familiarity with the mind of Thomas Paine and its expression in Common Sense.

To explore the power and influence of Common Sense within its time and in relation to the American Revolution.

To examine a range of print materials that influenced Americans to support the revolutionary cause.

Workshop 2: Introduction | Before You Watch | Lectures & Activities | Classroom Applications | Resources

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