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First published anonymously on January 10, 1776, during the American Revolution, 'Common Sense' was signed "Written by an Englishman," and the pamphlet became an immediate success. In relation to the population of the Colonies at that time, it had the largest sale and circulation of any book in American history. 'Common Sense' presented the American colonists with a powerful argument for independence from British rule at a time when the question of independence was still undecided. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. 'Common Sense' is now regarded as an historical and literary classic.