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Published in 1776, when America was teetering on the brink of war with Britain, Common Sense galvanized the colonists and George Washington's army, influencing not only the course of the Revolutionary War, but also the resultant government. For Paine, British rule in America amounted to little more than tyranny, and he went to great lengths to explain the deficiencies in the system of government that had been forced on the colonists. He not only advocated separation from Britain, but also political and social revolution, highlighting the many strengths of the colonies that would enable them to defeat Britain, then the most powerful nation in the world.