Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (29 January 1737–8 June 1809) was an English pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor, and intellectual. He lived and worked in Britain until age 37, when he emigrated to the British American colonies, in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contribution was the powerful, widely-read pamphlet, Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and of The American Crisis (1776-1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series.
Later, he greatly influenced the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), a guide to Enlightenment ideas. Despite not speaking French, he was elected to the French National Convention in 1792. The Girondists regarded him an ally, so, the Montagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him an enemy. In December of 1793, he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris, then released in 1794. He became notorious because of The Age of Reason (1793-94), the book advocated deism and argued against Christian doctrines. In France, he also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. He remained in France during the early Napoleonic era, but condemned Napoleon’s dictatorship, calling him “the completest charlatan that ever existed”.
In 1802, he returned to America at President Thomas Jefferson’s invitation. Thomas Paine died, at age 72, in No. 59 Grove Street, Greenwich Village, N.Y.C., on 8 June 1809. His burial site is located in New Rochelle, New York where he had lived after returning to America in 1802. His remains were later disinterred by an admirer looking to return them to England; his final resting place today is unknown.

Other Books of Author:
• The Age of Reason (1807)
• The American Crisis (1776)
• Common Sense (1776)

Common Sense

Common Sense

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In 1776, writer Thomas Paine publishes his pamphlet “Common Sense,” setting forth his arguments in favor of American independence. Although little used today, pamphlets were an important medium for the spread of ideas in the 16th through 19th centuries.

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