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Incensed, Paine ordered Bell not to proceed on a second edition, as he had planned several appendices to add to Common Sense.Bell ignored this and began advertising a "new edition".Though the colonies and Great Britain had commenced hostilities against one another, the thought of independence was not initially entertained.

Bell zealously promoted the pamphlet in Philadelphia's papers, and demand grew so high as to require a second printing.

However, when Paine's chosen intermediaries audited Bell's accounts, they found that the pamphlet actually had made zero profits.

Aside from the printed pamphlet itself, there were many handwritten summaries and whole copies circulated.

Paine also granted publishing rights to nearly every imprint which requested them, including several international editions.

He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity, structuring Common Sense as if it were a sermon.

Thomas Paine arrived in the American colonies in November 1774, shortly before the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution, and became an immediate sensation.

It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places.

His name did not become officially connected with the independence controversy until March 30, 1776.

Paine never did recoup the profits he felt due to him from Bell's first edition.

While Bell believed this advertisement would convince Paine to retain his services, it had the opposite effect.

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