Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

MTE5NTU2MzE2MzM3NTcxMzM5

Thomas Paine was an influential 18th-century writer of essays and pamphlets.

Thomas Paine was born on the twenty-ninth of January 1737 at Thetford, Norfolk in England, as a son of a Quaker. After a short basic education, he started to work, at first for his father, later as an officer of the excise. During this occupation Thomas Paine was an unsuccessful man, and was twice dismissed from his post. In 1774, he met Benjamin Franklin in London, who advised him to emigrate to America, giving him letters of recommendation.

Paine landed at Philadelphia on November 30, 1774. In Paine’s view the Colonies had all the right to revolt against a government that imposed taxes on them but which did not give them the right of representation in the Parliament at Westminster. But he went even further: for him there was no reason for the Colonies to stay dependent on England. On January 10, 1776 Paine formulated his ideas on american independence in his pamphlet Common Sense.
 “Common Sense,” Paine’s most influential piece, brought his ideas to a vast audience, swaying (the otherwise undecided) public opinion to the view that independence from the British was a necessity.
“Common Sense” presented the American colonists, who were generally still undecided, with a cogent argument for full-scale revolt and freedom from British rule. Common Sense” forced the issue on the streets, making the colonists see that a grave issue was upon them and that a public discussion was direly needed. Once it initiated debate, the article offered a solution for Americans who were disgusted and alarmed at the presence of tyranny in their new land, and it was passed around and read aloud often, bolstering enthusiasm for independence and encouraging recruitment for the Continental Army. (“Common Sense” is referred to by one historian as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.”)
In 1787 Thomas Paine left for England, initially to raise funds for the building of a bridge he had designed, but after the outbreak of the French Revolution he became deeply involved in it. Between March 1791 and February 1792 he published numerous editions of his Rights of Man, in which he defended the French Revolution against the attacks by Edmund Burke, in his Reflections on the Revolution in France. But it was more then a defence of the French Revolution: An analysis of the roots of the discontent in Europe, which he laid in arbitrary government, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and war.
sources: letbiography.com
Print Friendly