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Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birth date is given as January 29, 1736–37. Common practice was to use a dash or a slash to separate the old-style year from the new-style year. In the old calendar, the new year began on March 25, not January 1. Paine's birth date, therefore, would have been before New Year, 1737. In the new style, his birth date advances by eleven days and his year increases by one to February 9, 1737. The O.S. link gives more detail if needed. – June 8, 1809) was an English-born American
political activist A political movement is a collective attempt by a group of people to change government policy Public policy is a course of action created and/or enacted, typically by a government A government is the system or group of people governin ...
,
philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mi ...

philosopher
,
political theorist {{unreferenced, date=June 2015 A political theorist is someone who engages in constructing or evaluating political theory, including political philosophy Political philosophy is the philosophical study of government, addressing questions about ...
, and
revolutionary A revolutionary is a person who either participates in, or advocates a revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term ''revolutionary'' refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor. D ...
. He authored ''
Common Sense Common sense (often just known as sense) is sound, practical judgment concerning everyday matters, or a basic ability to Perception, perceive, Nous, understand, and Phronesis, judge in a manner that is shared by (i.e. ''common to'') nearly all ...
'' (1776) and ''
The American Crisis ''The American Crisis'', or simply ''The Crisis'', is a pamphlet series by eighteenth-century Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment philosopher and author Thomas Paine, originally published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution. Thirteen ...
'' (1776–1783), two of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, and helped inspire the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights. Born in
Thetford Thetford is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to th ...

Thetford
,
Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambe ...

Norfolk
, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States that was negotiated on behalf of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simp ...

Benjamin Franklin
, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his 47-page pamphlet ''Common Sense'', proportionally the all-time best-selling American title, which catalysed the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. ''The American Crisis'' was a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
. He wrote ''
Rights of Man ''Rights of Man'' (1791), a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the F ...
'' (1791), in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on Anglo-Irish
conservative Conservatism is an aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aest ...
writer
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title= ...
led to a trial and conviction ''in absentia'' in England in 1792 for the crime of
seditious libel Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech Speech is human vocal communication using language. Each language uses Phonetics, phonetic combinations of vowel and consonant sounds that form the sound of its words (that is, all English words sound ...
. The British government of
William Pitt the Younger William Pitt the Younger (28 May 175923 January 1806) was a prominent Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of Traditionalist conservatism, traditionalism and conservatism ...

William Pitt the Younger
, worried by the possibility that the French Revolution might spread to Britain, had begun suppressing works that espoused radical philosophies. Paine's work, which advocated the right of the people to overthrow their government, was duly targeted, with a
writ In , a writ (Anglo-Saxon ''gewrit'', Latin ''breve'') is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial ; in modern usage, this body is generally a . , s, s, and are common types of writ, but many forms exist and have ...

writ
for his arrest issued in early 1792. Paine fled to France in September where, despite not being able to speak French, he was quickly elected to the French
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was a parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (poli ...
. The
Girondins The Girondins ( , ), or Girondists, were members of a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution. From 1791 to 1793, the Girondins were active in the Legislative Assembly (France), Legislative Assembly and the National Convention. ...

Girondins
regarded him as an ally; consequently, the , especially
Maximilien Robespierre Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer and statesman who was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the National Constitu ...

Maximilien Robespierre
, regarded him as an enemy. In December 1793, he was arrested and was taken to Luxembourg Prison in Paris. While in prison, he continued to work on ''
The Age of Reason ''The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology'' is a work by English and American political activist Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birt ...
'' (1793–1794).
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, a future President of the United States, used his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November 1794. Paine became notorious because of his pamphlets and attacks on his former allies, who he felt had betrayed him. In ''The Age of Reason'' and other writings he advocated
Deism Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
, promoted
reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek ...
and
freethought Freethought (sometimes spelled free thought) is an which holds that s should not be formed on the basis of , , , or , and that beliefs should instead be reached by other methods such as , , and . According to the ', a freethinker is "a perso ...
, and argued against institutionalized religions in general and the
Christian doctrine Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an Discipline (academia), academic discipline, typically in universities and semin ...
in particular. In 1796, he published a bitter open letter to
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
, whom he denounced as an incompetent general and a hypocrite. He published the pamphlet ''
Agrarian Justice ''Agrarian Justice'' is the title of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine and published in 1797, which proposed that those who possess cultivated land owe the community a ground rent, which justifies an estate tax to fund universal old-age and disabi ...
'' (1797), discussing the origins of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
and introduced the concept of a
guaranteed minimum income Guaranteed minimum income (GMI), also called minimum income, is a social-welfare system that guarantees all citizens or families an income sufficient to live on, provided that certain eligibility conditions are met, typically: citizenship Ci ...
through a one-time
inheritance tax An inheritance tax is a tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interre ...
on landowners. In 1802, he returned to the U.S. When he died on June 8, 1809, only six people attended his funeral, as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity Conway, Moncure D. (1892).
The Life of Thomas Paine
''. Vol. 2, pp. 417–18.
and attacks on the nation's leaders.


Early life and education

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1736 the son of Joseph Pain, a tenant farmer and stay-maker, and Frances () Pain, in
Thetford Thetford is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to th ...

Thetford
,
Norfolk Norfolk () is a rural and non-metropolitan county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambe ...

Norfolk
, England. Joseph was a
Quaker Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Ref ...

Quaker
and Frances an
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...

Anglican
. Despite claims that Thomas changed the spelling of his family name upon his emigration to America in 1774, he was using "Paine" in 1769, while still in
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...

Lewes
, Sussex. He attended
Thetford Grammar School Thetford Grammar School is an independent co-educational school in Thetford, Norfolk, England. The school might date back to the 7th century, which would make it one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. History The school website conjec ...
(1744–1749), at a time when there was no compulsory education.School History
Thetford Grammar School; accessed January 3, 2008,
At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to his father. Following his apprenticeship, aged 19, Paine enlisted and briefly served as a
privateer A privateer is a private person or ship that engages in maritime warfare under a commission of war. Since robbery under arms was a common aspect of seaborne trade, until the early 19th century all merchant ships carried arms. A sovereign or deleg ...
, before returning to Britain in 1759. There, he became a master staymaker, establishing a shop in
Sandwich, Kent Sandwich is a historic town and civil parish in the Dover District of Kent, south-east England. It lies on the River Stour, Kent, River Stour and has a population of 4,985. Sandwich was one of the Cinque Ports and still has many original medieva ...
. On September 27, 1759, Paine married Mary Lambert. His business collapsed soon after. Mary became pregnant; and, after they moved to
Margate Margate is a seaside town A seaside resort is a resort town ski resort, Slovakia Image:Nusa dua beach.jpg, Nusa Dua in Bali, Indonesia A resort town, often called a resort city or resort destination, is an urban area where tourism or va ...

Margate
, she went into early labour, in which she and their child died. In July 1761, Paine returned to Thetford to work as a
supernumerary Supernumerary means "exceeding the usual number". Supernumerary may also refer to: * Supernumerary actor, a performer in a film, television show, or stage production who has no role or purpose other than to appear in the background, more commonly ...
officer. In December 1762, he became an Excise Officer in
Grantham Grantham () is a market and industrial town in the South Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England, straddling the London–Edinburgh East Coast Main Line and the River Witham and bounded to the west by the A1 road (Great Britain), A1 north– ...

Grantham
, Lincolnshire; in August 1764, he was transferred to Alford, also in Lincolnshire, at a salary of £50 per annum. On August 27, 1765, he was dismissed as an Excise Officer for "claiming to have inspected goods he did not inspect". On July 31, 1766, he requested his reinstatement from the Board of Excise, which they granted the next day, upon vacancy. While awaiting that, he worked as a stay-maker. In 1767, he was appointed to a position in
Grampound Grampound ( kw, Ponsmeur) is a village in Cornwall, England. It is at an ancient crossing point of the River Fal and today is on the A390 road six miles west of St Austell and eight miles east of Truro.Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 204 '' ...
, Cornwall. Later he asked to leave this post to await a vacancy, and he became a schoolteacher in London. On February 19, 1768, he was appointed to
Lewes Lewes () is the county town of East Sussex, England. It is the police and judicial centre for all of Sussex and is home to Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, Lewes Crown Court and HMP Lewes. The civil parishes in England, civil p ...

Lewes
in
Sussex Sussex (), from the Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, e ...

Sussex
, a town with a tradition of opposition to the monarchy and pro-republican sentiments since the revolutionary decades of the 17th century. Here he lived above the 15th-century Bull House, the tobacco shop of Samuel Ollive and Esther Ollive. Paine first became involved in civic matters when he was based in Lewes. He appears in the Town Book as a member of the Court Leet, the governing body for the town. He was also a member of the
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ ( ...
vestry A vestry was a committee for the local secular and ecclesiastical government for a parish in England and Wales, which originally met in the vestry or sacristy of the parish church, and consequently became known colloquially as the "vestry". Over ...

vestry
, an influential local Anglican church group whose responsibilities for parish business would include collecting taxes and tithes to distribute among the poor. On March 26, 1771, at age 34, Paine married Elizabeth Ollive, the daughter of his recently deceased landlord, whose business as a grocer and tobacconist he then entered into. From 1772 to 1773, Paine joined excise officers asking Parliament for better pay and working conditions, publishing, in summer of 1772, ''The Case of the Officers of Excise'', a 12-page article, and his first political work, spending the London winter distributing the 4,000 copies printed to the Parliament and others. In spring 1774, he was again dismissed from the excise service for being absent from his post without permission; his tobacco shop failed, too. On April 14, to avoid
debtors' prison A debtors' prison is a prison A prison (also known as a jail or gaol (dated, British, Australian, and to a lesser extent Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may b ...
, he sold his household possessions to pay debts. On June 4, 1774, he formally separated from his wife Elizabeth and moved to London, where, in September, mathematician, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Commissioner of the Excise
George Lewis Scott George Lewis Scott (1708–1780) was a mathematician and literary figure who was tutor to the future George III from 1751 to 1755. A friend of the historian Edward Gibbon, the poet James_Thomson_(poet,_born_1700), James Thomson and other members o ...
introduced him to
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States that was negotiated on behalf of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simp ...

Benjamin Franklin
, who suggested emigration to British colonial America, and gave him a letter of recommendation. In October, Paine emigrated to the American colonies, arriving in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
on November 30, 1774.


In ''Pennsylvania Magazine''

Paine barely survived the transatlantic voyage. The ship's water supplies were bad and
typhoid fever Typhoid fever, also known as typhoid, is a disease caused by ''Salmonella'' serotype Typhi bacteria. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe, and usually begin 6 to 30 days after exposure. Often there is a gradual onset of a high fever over several ...
killed five passengers. On arriving at Philadelphia, he was too sick to disembark. Benjamin Franklin's physician, there to welcome Paine to America, had him carried off ship; Paine took six weeks to recover. He became a citizen of Pennsylvania "by taking the oath of allegiance at a very early period". In March 1775, he became editor of the ''Pennsylvania Magazine'', a position he conducted with considerable ability. Before Paine's arrival in America, sixteen magazines had been founded in the colonies and ultimately failed, each featuring substantial content and reprints from England. In late 1774, Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken announced his plan to create what he called an "American Magazine" with content derived from the colonies. Paine contributed two pieces to the magazine's inaugural issue dated January 1775, and Aitken hired Paine as the Magazine's editor one month later. Under Paine's leadership, the magazine's readership rapidly expanded, achieving a greater circulation in the colonies than any American magazine up until that point. While Aiken had conceived of the magazine as nonpolitical, Paine brought a strong political perspective to its content, writing in its first issue that "every heart and hand seem to be engaged in the interesting struggle for ''American Liberty.''" Paine wrote in the ''Pennsylvania Magazine'' that such a publication should become a "nursery of genius" for a nation that had "now outgrown the state of infancy," exercising and educating American minds, and shaping American morality. On March 8, 1775, the ''Pennsylvania Magazine'' published an unsigned abolitionist essay titled ''African Slavery in America''. The essay is often attributed to Paine on the basis of a letter by
Benjamin Rush Benjamin Rush (April 19, 1813) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, and educator and the founder of Dickinson Coll ...

Benjamin Rush
, recalling Paine's claim of authorship to the essay. The essay attacked slavery as an "execrable commerce" and "outrage against Humanity and Justice." Consciously appealing to a broader and more working class audience, Paine also used the magazine to discuss worker rights to production. This shift in the conceptualization of politics has been described as a part of "the 'modernization' of political consciousness," and the mobilization of ever greater sections of society into political life.


American Revolution


''Common Sense'' (1776)

Paine has a claim to the title ''The Father of the American Revolution'', which rests on his pamphlets, especially ''Common Sense,'' which crystallized sentiment for independence in 1776. It was published in
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
on January 10, 1776, and signed anonymously "by an Englishman". It was an immediate success, quickly spreading 100,000 copies in three months to the two million residents of the 13 colonies. During the course of the American Revolution, a total of about 500,000 copies were sold, including unauthorized editions. Paine's original title for the pamphlet was ''Plain Truth'', but Paine's friend, pro-independence advocate
Benjamin Rush Benjamin Rush (April 19, 1813) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, and educator and the founder of Dickinson Coll ...

Benjamin Rush
, suggested ''Common Sense'' instead. Finding a printer who was daring enough to commit his print shop to the printing of ''Common Sense'' was not easy. At the advice of
Benjamin Rush Benjamin Rush (April 19, 1813) was a signer of the United States Declaration of Independence and a civic leader in Philadelphia, where he was a physician, politician, social reformer, humanitarian, and educator and the founder of Dickinson Coll ...

Benjamin Rush
, Paine commissioned Robert Bell to print his work. The pamphlet came into circulation in January 1776, after the Revolution had started. It was passed around and often read aloud in taverns, contributing significantly to spreading the idea of republicanism, bolstering enthusiasm for separation from Britain, and encouraging recruitment for the
Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, and was established by a resolution of ...
. Paine provided a new and convincing argument for independence by advocating a complete break with history. ''Common Sense'' is oriented to the future in a way that compels the reader to make an immediate choice. It offers a solution for Americans disgusted with and alarmed at the threat of tyranny. Paine's attack on monarchy in ''Common Sense'' is essentially an attack on
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on th ...

George III
. Whereas colonial resentments were originally directed primarily against the king's ministers and Parliament, Paine laid the responsibility firmly at the king's door. ''Common Sense'' was the most widely read pamphlet of the American Revolution. It was a clarion call for unity against the corrupt British court, so as to realize America's providential role in providing an asylum for liberty. Written in a direct and lively style, it denounced the decaying despotisms of Europe and pilloried hereditary monarchy as an absurdity. At a time when many still hoped for reconciliation with Britain, ''Common Sense'' demonstrated to many the inevitability of separation. Paine was not on the whole expressing original ideas in ''Common Sense'', but rather employing rhetoric as a means to arouse resentment of the Crown. To achieve these ends, he pioneered a style of political writing suited to the democratic society he envisioned, with ''Common Sense'' serving as a primary example. Part of Paine's work was to render complex ideas intelligible to average readers of the day, with clear, concise writing unlike the formal, learned style favored by many of Paine's contemporaries. Scholars have put forward various explanations to account for its success, including the historic moment, Paine's easy-to-understand style, his democratic ethos, and his use of psychology and ideology. ''Common Sense'' was immensely popular in disseminating to a very wide audience ideas that were already in common use among the elite who comprised Congress and the leadership cadre of the emerging nation, who rarely cited Paine's arguments in their public calls for independence. The pamphlet probably had little direct influence on the Continental Congress' decision to issue a
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
, since that body was more concerned with how declaring independence would affect the war effort. One distinctive idea in ''Common Sense'' is Paine's beliefs regarding the peaceful nature of republics; his views were an early and strong conception of what scholars would come to call the
democratic peace theory The democratic peace theory posits that democracy, democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies. Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between dem ...
.
Loyalists Loyalism, in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. ...
vigorously attacked ''Common Sense''; one attack, titled ''Plain Truth'' (1776), by Marylander James Chalmers, said Paine was a political quack and warned that without monarchy, the government would "degenerate into democracy".Jensen, ''Founding of a Nation'', 669. Even some American revolutionaries objected to ''Common Sense''; late in life
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of ...

John Adams
called it a "crapulous mass". Adams disagreed with the type of radical democracy promoted by Paine (that men who did not own property should still be allowed to vote and hold public office) and published '''' in 1776 to advocate a more conservative approach to republicanism. Sophia Rosenfeld argues that Paine was highly innovative in his use of the commonplace notion of "common sense". He synthesized various philosophical and political uses of the term in a way that permanently impacted American political thought. He used two ideas from Scottish Common Sense Realism: that ordinary people can indeed make sound judgments on major political issues, and that there exists a body of popular wisdom that is readily apparent to anyone. Paine also used a notion of "common sense" favored by
philosophe The ''philosophes'' (French for "philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. The coining of the term has bee ...
s in the Continental Enlightenment. They held that common sense could refute the claims of traditional institutions. Thus, Paine used "common sense" as a weapon to de-legitimize the monarchy and overturn prevailing conventional wisdom. Rosenfeld concludes that the phenomenal appeal of his pamphlet resulted from his synthesis of popular and elite elements in the independence movement. According to historian
Robert Middlekauff Robert Lawrence Middlekauff (1929 – March 10, 2021) was a professor emeritus ''Emeritus'' (; female: ''Emerita''), in its current usage, is an adjective used to designate a retired chair, professor, pastor, bishop, pope, director, president, ...
, ''Common Sense'' became immensely popular mainly because Paine appealed to widespread convictions. Monarchy, he said, was preposterous and it had a heathenish origin. It was an institution of the devil. Paine pointed to the
Old Testament The Old Testament (often abbreviated OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts (or "books") which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as aut ...
, where almost all kings had seduced the Israelites to worship idols instead of God. Paine also denounced aristocracy, which together with monarchy were "two ancient tyrannies." They violated the laws of nature, human reason, and the "universal order of things," which began with God. That was, Middlekauff says, exactly what most Americans wanted to hear. He calls the Revolutionary generation "the children of the twice-born". because in their childhood they had experienced the Great Awakening, which, for the first time, had tied Americans together, transcending denominational and ethnic boundaries and giving them a sense of patriotism.


Possible involvement in drafting the United States Declaration of Independence

While there is no historical record of Paine's involvement in drafting the
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
, some scholars of Early American History have suspected Thomas Paine's involvement over the past two centuries. As noted by the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, multiple authors have hypothesized and written on the subject, including Moody (1872), Van der Weyde (1911), Lewis (1947), and more recently, Smith & Rickards (2007). In 2018, the Thomas Paine National Historical Association introduced an early draft of the Declaration that contained evidence of Paine's involvement based on an inscription of "T.P." on the back of the document. During the early deliberations of the Committee of Five members chosen by Congress to draft the Declaration of Independence, John Adams made a hastily written manuscript copy of the original draft of the Declaration of Independence on June 24, 1776, known as the Sherman Copy. Adams made this copy shortly before preparing another neater, fair copy that is held in the Adams Family Papers collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society. The Sherman copy of The Declaration of Independence is one of several working drafts of the Declaration, made for Roger Sherman's review and approval before the Committee of Five submitted a finalized draft to Congress. The Sherman Copy of the Declaration of Independence contains an inscription on the back of the document that states: "''A beginning perhaps-Original with Jefferson-Copied from Original with T.P.'s permission''." According to the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, the individual referenced as "T.P." in the inscription appears to be Thomas Paine. The degree to which Paine was involved in formulating the text of the Declaration is unclear, as the original draft referenced in the Sherman Copy inscription is presumed lost or destroyed. However, John Adams' request for permission of "T.P." to copy the original draft may suggest that Paine had a role either assisting Jefferson with organizing ideas within the Declaration, or contributing to the text of the original draft itself.


''The American Crisis'' (1776)

In late 1776, Paine published ''
The American Crisis ''The American Crisis'', or simply ''The Crisis'', is a pamphlet series by eighteenth-century Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment philosopher and author Thomas Paine, originally published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution. Thirteen ...
'' pamphlet series to inspire the Americans in their battles against the British army. He juxtaposed the conflict between the good American devoted to civic virtue and the selfish provincial man. To inspire his soldiers, General
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
had ''The American Crisis'', first ''Crisis'' pamphlet, read aloud to them. It begins:


Foreign affairs

In 1777, Paine became secretary of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs. The following year, he alluded to secret negotiation underway with France in his pamphlets. His enemies denounced his indiscretions. There was scandal; together with Paine's conflict with
Robert MorrisRobert or Bob Morris may refer to: Politics * Robert Hunter Morris (1700–1764), Lieutenant Governor of Colonial Pennsylvania * Robert Morris (financier) (1734–1806), financier of the American Revolution and signatory to three of the United Stat ...
and
Silas Deane Silas Deane (September 23, 1789) was an American merchant, politician, and diplomat, and a supporter of American independence. Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies wh ...
it led to Paine's expulsion from the Committee in 1779. However, in 1781, he accompanied
John Laurens John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly ...
on his mission to France. Eventually, after much pleading from Paine, New York State recognized his political services by presenting him with an estate at
New Rochelle New Rochelle (; older french: La Nouvelle-Rochelle) is a Political subdivisions of New York State#City, city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state. In 2010, the city had a population of 77,062 ...
, New York and Paine received money from Pennsylvania and from Congress at Washington's suggestion. During the Revolutionary War, Paine served as an aide-de-camp to the important general,
Nathanael Greene Nathanael Greene (June 19, 1786, sometimes misspelled Nathaniel) was a major general Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces ...
.


Silas Deane Affair

In what may have been an error, and perhaps even contributed to his resignation as the secretary to the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Paine was openly critical of
Silas Deane Silas Deane (September 23, 1789) was an American merchant, politician, and diplomat, and a supporter of American independence. Deane served as a delegate to the Continental Congress The Continental Congress was a series of legislative bodies wh ...
, an American diplomat who had been appointed in March 1776 by the Congress to travel to France in secret. Deane's goal was to influence the French government to finance the colonists in their fight for independence. Paine largely saw Deane as a war profiteer who had little respect for principle, having been under the employ of
Robert MorrisRobert or Bob Morris may refer to: Politics * Robert Hunter Morris (1700–1764), Lieutenant Governor of Colonial Pennsylvania * Robert Morris (financier) (1734–1806), financier of the American Revolution and signatory to three of the United Stat ...
, one of the primary financiers of the American Revolution and working with
Pierre Beaumarchais Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (; 24 January 1732 – 18 May 1799) was a French polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, ', "having learned much"; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languag ...
, a French royal agent sent to the colonies by King Louis to investigate the Anglo-American conflict. Paine uncovered the financial connection between Morris, who was Superintendent for Finance of the Continental Congress, and Deane. Harlow Giles Unger, "Thomas Paine and the Clarion Call for American Independence," (New York: Da Capo Press, 2019), p. 89 Paine labeled Deane as unpatriotic, and demanded that there be a public investigation into Morris' financing of the Revolution, as he had contracted with his own company for around $500,000. Wealthy men, such as Robert Morris,
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
and powerful
merchant bank A merchant bank is historically a bank dealing in commercial loans and investment. In modern British usage it is the same as an investment bank Investment is the dedication of an asset to attain an increase in value over a period of time. In ...
ers, were leaders of the Continental Congress and defended holding public positions while at the same time profiting off their own personal financial dealings with governments. Amongst Paine's criticisms, he had written in the ''
Pennsylvania Packet The ''Pennsylvania Packet, or the General Advertiser'' was an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America ...
'' that France had "''prefaced
heir Inheritance is the practice of passing on private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property Public property i ...
alliance by an early and generous friendship''," referring to aid that had been provided to American colonies prior to the recognition of the Franco-American treaties. This was alleged to be effectively an embarrassment to France, which potentially could have jeopardized the alliance. John Jay, the President of the Congress, who had been a fervent supporter of Deane, immediately spoke out against Paine's comments. The controversy eventually became public, and Paine was then denounced as unpatriotic for criticizing an American revolutionary. He was even physically assaulted twice in the street by Deane supporters. This much-added stress took a large toll on Paine, who was generally of a sensitive character and he resigned as secretary to the Committee of Foreign Affairs in 1779. Paine left the Committee without even having enough money to buy food for himself. Much later, when Paine returned from his mission to France, Deane's corruption had become more widely acknowledged. Many, including Robert Morris, apologized to Paine and Paine's reputation in Philadelphia was restored.


"Public Good"

In 1780, Paine published a pamphlet entitled "Public Good," in which he made the case that territories west of the 13 colonies that had been part of the British Empire belonged after the Declaration of Independence to the American government, and did not belong to any of the 13 states or to any individual speculators. A
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or ...

royal charter
of 1609 had granted to the
Virginia Company The Virginia Company was an English trading companyTrading companies are business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (business), products (such as goods and services). ...
land stretching to the Pacific Ocean. A small group of wealthy Virginia land speculators, including the Washington, Lee, and Randolph families, had taken advantage of this royal charter to survey and to claim title to huge swaths of land, including much land west of the 13 colonies. In "Public Good," Paine argued that these lands belonged to the American government as represented by the Continental Congress. This angered many of Paine's wealthy Virginia friends, including
Richard Henry Lee Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732June 19, 1794) was an American statesman and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founder ...

Richard Henry Lee
of the powerful Lee family, who had been Paine's closest ally in Congress,
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
,
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
and
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
, all of whom had claimed to huge wild tracts that Paine was advocating should be government owned. The view that Paine had advocated eventually prevailed when the
Northwest Ordinance The Northwest Ordinance (formally An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States, North-West of the River Ohio and also known as the Ordinance of 1787), enacted July 13, 1787, was an organic act of the Congress of the Con ...
of 1787 was passed. The animosity Paine felt as a result of the publication of "Public Good" fueled his decision to embark with
Lieutenant Colonel Lieutenant colonel ( or ) is a rank of commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly orga ...

Lieutenant Colonel
John Laurens John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly ...
on a mission to travel to Paris to obtain funding for the American war effort.


Funding the Revolution

Paine accompanied Col. John Laurens to France and is credited with initiating the mission. It landed in France in March 1781 and returned to America in August with 2.5 million
livres The ''livre tournois'' (), for the " ", was one of numerous currencies used in , and a (i.e., a monetary unit used in accounting) used in . The 1262 monetary reform established the livre tournois as 20 ''sous tournois'', or 80.88 grams of fin ...
in silver, as part of a "present" of 6 million and a loan of 10 million. The meetings with the French king were most likely conducted in the company and under the influence of
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States that was negotiated on behalf of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simp ...

Benjamin Franklin
. Upon returning to the United States with this highly welcomed cargo, Thomas Paine and probably Col. Laurens, "positively objected" that General Washington should propose that Congress remunerate him for his services, for fear of setting "a bad precedent and an improper mode". Paine made influential acquaintances in Paris and helped organize the
Bank of North America The Bank of North America was the first chartered bank in the United States, and served as the country's first ''de facto'' central bank. Chartered by the Congress of the Confederation on May 26, 1781, and opened in Philadelphia on January 7, 17 ...

Bank of North America
to raise money to supply the army. In 1785, he was given $3,000 by the
U.S. Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States and consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Wa ...

U.S. Congress
in recognition of his service to the nation.
Henry Laurens in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Henry Laurens (December 8, 1792) was an Americans, American merchant, slave trader, and rice planter from South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of ...
(father of Col.
John Laurens John Laurens (October 28, 1754 – August 27, 1782) was an American soldier and statesman from South Carolina South Carolina () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly ...
) had been the ambassador to the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
, but he was captured by the British on his return trip there. When he was later exchanged for the prisoner
Lord Cornwallis Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, (31 December 1738 – 5 October 1805), styled Viscount Brome between 1753 and 1762 and known as the Earl Cornwallis between 1762 and 1792, was a British Army The British Army is the princip ...

Lord Cornwallis
in late 1781, Paine proceeded to the Netherlands to continue the loan negotiations. There remains some question as to the relationship of Henry Laurens and Thomas Paine to Robert Morris as the Superintendent of Finance and his business associate Thomas Willing who became the first president of the Bank of North America in January 1782. They had accused Morris of profiteering in 1779 and Willing had voted against the Declaration of Independence. Although Morris did much to restore his reputation in 1780 and 1781, the credit for obtaining these critical loans to "organize" the Bank of North America for approval by Congress in December 1781 should go to Henry or John Laurens and Thomas Paine more than to Robert Morris. Paine bought his only house in 1783 on the corner of Farnsworth Avenue and Church Streets in Bordentown City, New Jersey and he lived in it periodically until his death in 1809. This is the only place in the world where Paine purchased real estate. In 1785, Paine was elected a member of the
American Philosophical Society The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 in Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community ...
. In 1787, a bridge of Paine's design was built across the
Schuylkill River The Schuylkill River ( , ) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course w ...
at Philadelphia. At this time his work on single-arch iron bridges led him back to Paris, France. Because Paine had few friends when arriving in France aside from
Lafayette Lafayette or La Fayette may refer to: People * Lafayette (name), a list of people with the surname Lafayette or La Fayette or the given name Lafayette * House of La Fayette, a French noble family ** Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757– ...

Lafayette
and Jefferson, he continued to correspond heavily with Benjamin Franklin, a long time friend and mentor. Franklin provided letters of introduction for Paine to use to gain associates and contacts in France. Later that year, Paine returned to London from Paris. He then released a pamphlet on August 20 called ''Prospects on the Rubicon: or, an investigation into the Causes and Consequences of the Politics to be Agitated at the Meeting of Parliament''. Tensions between England and France were increasing, and this pamphlet urged the British Ministry to reconsider the consequences of war with France. Paine sought to turn the public opinion against the war to create better relations between the countries, avoid the taxes of war upon the citizens, and not engage in a war he believed would ruin both nations.


''Rights of Man''

Back in London by 1787, Paine would become engrossed in the French Revolution that began two years later, and decided to travel to France in 1790. Meanwhile, conservative intellectual
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title= ...
launched a counterrevolutionary blast against the French Revolution, entitled ''
Reflections on the Revolution in France ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' is a political pamphlet written by the Irish statesman Edmund Burke and published in November 1790. It is fundamentally a contrast of the French Revolution to that time with the unwritten Constitution o ...
'' (1790), which strongly appealed to the landed class, and sold 30,000 copies. Paine set out to refute it in his ''
Rights of Man ''Rights of Man'' (1791), a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the F ...
'' (1791). He wrote it not as a quick pamphlet, but as a long, abstract political tract of 90,000 words which tore apart monarchies and traditional social institutions. On January 31, 1791, he gave the manuscript to publisher Joseph Johnson. A visit by government agents dissuaded Johnson, so Paine gave the book to publisher J. S. Jordan, then went to Paris, per
William Blake William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his life, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the Romantic poetry, poetry and visual art of t ...

William Blake
's advice. He charged three good friends,
William Godwin William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) was an English journalist, political philosopher Political philosophy is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those abou ...
,
Thomas Brand Hollis Thomas Brand Hollis (1719 – 9 September 1804), born Thomas Brand, was a British political radical and dissenter. Early life Thomas Brand was born the only son of Timothy Brand, a Mercery, mercer of Ingatestone, Essex, and his wife Sarah Michell ...
, and
Thomas Holcroft Thomas Holcroft (10 December 174523 March 1809) was an English dramatist, miscellanist, poet and translator. He was sympathetic to the early ideas of the French Revolution and helped Thomas Paine publish the first part of ''The Rights of Man''. ...

Thomas Holcroft
, with handling publication details. The book appeared on March 13, 1791, and sold nearly a million copies. It was "eagerly read by reformers, Protestant dissenters, democrats, London craftsmen, and the skilled factory-hands of the new industrial north". Undeterred by the government campaign to discredit him, Paine issued his ''Rights of Man, Part the Second, Combining Principle and Practice'' in February 1792. It detailed a representative government with enumerated social programs to remedy the numbing poverty of commoners through
progressive tax A progressive tax is a tax in which the tax rate increases as the taxable amount increases.Sommerfeld, Ray M., Silvia A. Madeo, Kenneth E. Anderson, Betty R. Jackson (1992), ''Concepts of Taxation'', Dryden Press: Fort Worth, TX The term ''progre ...
measures. Radically reduced in price to ensure unprecedented circulation, it was sensational in its impact and gave birth to reform societies. An indictment for
seditious libel Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech Speech is human vocal communication using language. Each language uses Phonetics, phonetic combinations of vowel and consonant sounds that form the sound of its words (that is, all English words sound ...
followed, for both publisher and author, while government agents followed Paine and instigated mobs, hate meetings, and burnings in effigy. A fierce pamphlet war also resulted, in which Paine was defended and assailed in dozens of works. The authorities aimed, with ultimate success, to chase Paine out of Great Britain. He was then tried ''in absentia'' and found guilty, although never executed. The French translation of ''Rights of Man, Part II'' was published in April 1792. The translator, François Lanthenas, eliminated the dedication to Lafayette, as he believed Paine thought too highly of Lafayette, who was seen as a royalist sympathizer at the time. In summer of 1792, he answered the sedition and libel charges thus: "If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb." Paine was an enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution, and was granted honorary French
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizenship
alongside prominent contemporaries such as
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
,
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American soldier, statesman, and Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Father who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continenta ...

George Washington
,
Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin ( April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States that was negotiated on behalf of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay The Founding Fathers of the United States, or simp ...

Benjamin Franklin
and others. Paine's honorary citizenship was in recognition of the publishing of his ''Rights of Man, Part II'' and the sensation it created within France. Despite his inability to speak French, he was elected to the
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was a parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (poli ...
, representing the district of
Pas-de-Calais Pas-de-Calais (, "strait of Calais"; pcd, Pas-Calés; also nl, Nauw van Kales) is a departments of France, department in northern France named after the French language, French designation of the Strait of Dover, which it borders. It has the mo ...
. Several weeks after his election to the National Convention, Paine was selected as one of nine deputies to be part of the Convention's Constitutional Committee, who were charged to draft a suitable constitution for the
French Republic France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of severa ...
. He subsequentially participated in the Constitutional Committee in drafting the
Girondin constitutional project The Girondin constitutional project, presented to the French National Convention on 15 and 16 February 1793 by Nicolas de Caritat, formerly the Marquis de Condorcet, is composed of three parts: * An ''Exposition of the Principles and Motives of t ...
. He voted for the French Republic, but argued against the execution of
Louis XVI Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) wa ...

Louis XVI
, saying the monarch should instead be
exile To be in exile means to be forced away from one's home (i.e. village A village is a clustered human settlement In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scien ...

exile
d to the United States: firstly, because of the way royalist France had come to the aid of the American Revolution; and secondly, because of a moral objection to capital punishment in general and to revenge killings in particular. However, Paine's speech in defense of Louis XVI was interrupted by
Jean-Paul Marat Jean-Paul Marat (; born Mara; 24 May 1743 – 13 July 1793) was a French political theorist A theory is a rational type of abstract thinking about a phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The te ...
, who claimed that as a Quaker, Paine's religious beliefs ran counter to inflicting capital punishment and thus he should be ineligible to vote. Marat interrupted a second time, stating that the translator was deceiving the convention by distorting the meanings of Paine's words, prompting Paine to provide a copy of the speech as proof that he was being correctly translated. Regarded as an ally of the
Girondins The Girondins ( , ), or Girondists, were members of a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution. From 1791 to 1793, the Girondins were active in the Legislative Assembly (France), Legislative Assembly and the National Convention. ...
, he was seen with increasing disfavor by the , who were now in power; and in particular by
Maximilien Robespierre Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre (; 6 May 1758 – 28 July 1794) was a French lawyer and statesman who was one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the National Constitu ...

Maximilien Robespierre
. A decree was passed at the end of 1793 excluding foreigners from their places in the Convention (
Anacharsis Cloots Jean-Baptiste du Val-de-Grâce, baron Baron is a rank of nobility or title of honour, often hereditary, in various European countries, either current or historical. The female equivalent is baroness. Typically, the title denotes an aristocrat ...
was also deprived of his place). Paine was arrested and imprisoned in December 1793. Paine wrote the second part of ''
Rights of Man ''Rights of Man'' (1791), a book by Thomas Paine, including 31 articles, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard the natural rights of its people. Using these points as a base it defends the F ...
'' on a desk in Thomas 'Clio' Rickman's house, with whom he was staying in 1792 before he fled to France. This desk is currently on display in the People's History Museum in Manchester.


''The Age of Reason''

Paine was arrested in France on December 28, 1793. Joel Barlow was unsuccessful in securing Paine's release by circulating a petition among American residents in Paris. Sixteen American citizens were allowed to plead for Paine's release to the Convention, yet President Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier of the Committee of General Security refused to acknowledge Paine's American citizenship, stating he was an Englishman and a citizen of a country at war with France. Paine himself protested and claimed that he was a citizen of the U.S., which was an ally of Revolutionary France, rather than of Great Britain, which was by that time at war with France. However, Gouverneur Morris, the American minister to France, did not press his claim, and Paine later wrote that Morris had connived at his imprisonment. Paine narrowly escaped execution. A chalk mark was supposed to be left by the gaoler on the door of a cell to denote that the prisoner inside was due to be removed for execution. In Paine's case, the mark had accidentally been made on the inside of his door rather than the outside; this was due to the fact that the door of Paine's cell had been left open whilst the gaoler was making his rounds that day, since Paine had been receiving official visitors. But for this quirk of fate, Paine would have been executed the following morning. He kept his head and survived the few vital days needed to be spared by the fall of Robespierre on Thermidorian Reaction, 9 Thermidor (July 27, 1794). Paine was released in November 1794 largely because of the work of the new American Minister to France,
James Monroe James Monroe (; April 28, 1758July 4, 1831) was an American statesman, lawyer, diplomat and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. ...
, who successfully argued the case for Paine's American citizenship. In July 1795, he was re-admitted into the Convention, as were other surviving Girondins. Paine was one of only three députés to oppose the adoption of the new Constitution of the Year III, 1795 constitution because it eliminated universal suffrage, which had been proclaimed by the French Constitution of 1793, Montagnard Constitution of 1793. In 1796, a Wearmouth Bridge (1796), bridge he designed was erected over the mouth of the Wear River at Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England. This bridge, the Sunderland arch, was after the same design as his
Schuylkill River The Schuylkill River ( , ) is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course w ...
Bridge in Philadelphia and it became the prototype for many subsequent voussoir arches made in iron and steel. In addition to receiving a British patent for the single-span iron bridge, Paine developed a smokeless candle and worked with inventor John Fitch (inventor), John Fitch in developing steam engines. In 1797, Paine lived in Paris with Nicholas Bonneville and his wife. As well as Bonneville's other controversial guests, Paine aroused the suspicions of authorities. Bonneville hid the Royalist Antoine Joseph Barruel-Beauvert at his home. Beauvert had been outlawed following the coup of 18 Fructidor on September 4, 1797. Paine believed that the United States under President
John Adams John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of ...

John Adams
had betrayed revolutionary France. Bonneville was then briefly jailed and his presses were confiscated, which meant financial ruin. In 1800, still under police surveillance, Bonneville took refuge with his father in Evreux. Paine stayed on with him, helping Bonneville with the burden of translating the "Covenant Sea". The same year, Paine purportedly had a meeting with Napoleon. Napoleon claimed he slept with a copy of ''Rights of Man'' under his pillow and went so far as to say to Paine that "a statue of gold should be erected to you in every city in the universe". Paine discussed with Napoleon how best to invade England. In December 1797, he wrote two essays, one of which was pointedly named ''Observations on the Construction and Operation of Navies with a Plan for an Invasion of England and the Final Overthrow of the English Government'', in which he promoted the idea to finance 1,000 gunboats to carry a French invading army across the English Channel. In 1804, Paine returned to the subject, writing ''To the People of England on the Invasion of England'' advocating the idea. However, upon noting Napoleon's progress towards dictatorship, he condemned him as "the completest charlatan that ever existed". Paine remained in France until 1802, returning to the United States only at President Jefferson's invitation.


Criticism of George Washington

Upset that U.S. President George Washington, a friend since the Revolutionary War, did nothing during Paine's imprisonment in France, Paine believed Washington had betrayed him and conspired with Robespierre. While staying with Monroe, Paine planned to send Washington a letter of grievance on the president's birthday. Monroe stopped the letter from being sent, and after Paine's criticism of the Jay Treaty, which was supported by Washington, Monroe suggested that Paine live elsewhere. Paine then sent a stinging letter to George Washington, in which he described him as an incompetent commander and a vain and ungrateful person. Having received no response, Paine contacted his longtime publisher Benjamin Franklin Bache (journalist), Benjamin Bache, the Jeffersonian democrat, to publish his ''Letter to George Washington'' of 1796 in which he derided Washington's reputation by describing him as a treacherous man who was unworthy of his fame as a military and political hero. Paine wrote that "the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles or whether you ever had any". He declared that without France's aid Washington could not have succeeded in the American Revolution and had "but little share in the glory of the final event". He also commented on Washington's character, saying that Washington had no sympathetic feelings and was a hypocrite.


Later years

In 1802 or 1803, Paine left France for the United States, also paying the passage for Bonneville's wife Marguerite Brazier and the couple's three sons, Benjamin Bonneville, Benjamin, Louis Bonneville, Louis and Thomas Bonneville, to whom Paine was godfather. Paine returned to the United States in the early stages of the Second Great Awakening and a time of great political partisanship. The ''Age of Reason'' gave ample excuse for the religiously devout to dislike him, while the Federalists attacked him for his ideas of government stated in ''Common Sense,'' for his association with the French Revolution, and for his friendship with President Jefferson. Also still fresh in the minds of the public was his ''Letter to Washington,'' published six years before his return. This was compounded when his right to vote was denied in
New Rochelle New Rochelle (; older french: La Nouvelle-Rochelle) is a Political subdivisions of New York State#City, city in Westchester County, New York, United States, in the southeastern portion of the state. In 2010, the city had a population of 77,062 ...
on the grounds that Gouverneur Morris did not recognize him as an American and Washington had not aided him. Brazier took care of Paine at the end of his life and buried him after his death. In his will, Paine left the bulk of his estate to Marguerite, including 100 acres (40.5 ha) of his farm so she could maintain and educate Benjamin and his brother Thomas. In 1814, the fall of Napoleon finally allowed Bonneville to rejoin his wife in the United States where he remained for four years before returning to Paris to open a bookshop.


Death

On the morning of June 8, 1809, Paine died, aged 72, at 59 Grove Street in Greenwich Village, New York City. Although the original building no longer exists, the present building has a plaque noting that Paine died at this location. After his death, Paine's body was brought to New Rochelle, but the Quakers would not allow it to be buried in their graveyard as per his last will, so his remains were buried under a walnut tree on his farm. In 1819, English agrarian radical journalist William Cobbett, who in 1793 had published a hostile continuation of Francis Oldys (George Chalmer)'s ''The Life of Thomas Paine'', dug up his bones and transported them back to England with the intention to give Paine a heroic reburial on his native soil, but this never came to pass. The bones were still among Cobbett's effects when he died over fifteen years later, but were later lost. There is no confirmed story about what happened to them after that, although various people have claimed throughout the years to own parts of Paine's remains, such as his skull and right hand. At the time of his death, most American newspapers reprinted the obituary notice from the ''New York Evening Post'' that was in turn quoting from ''The American Citizen'', which read in part: "He had lived long, did some good, and much harm". Only six mourners came to his funeral, two of whom were black, most likely Freedman, freedmen. Many years later the writer and orator Robert G. Ingersoll wrote:


Ideas

Biographer Eric Foner identifies a utopian thread in Paine's thought, writing: "Through this new language he communicated a new visiona utopian image of an egalitarian, republican society". Paine's utopianism combined republicanism in the United States, civic republicanism, belief in the inevitability of scientific and social progress and commitment to free markets and liberty generally. The multiple sources of Paine's political theory all pointed to a society based on the common good and individualism. Paine expressed a redemptive futurism or political messianism. Writing that his generation "would appear to the future as the Adam of a new world", Paine exemplified British utopianism. Later, his encounters with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas made a deep impression. The ability of the Iroquois to live in harmony with nature while achieving a democratic decision-making process helped him refine his thinking on how to organize society.


Slavery

On March 8, 1775, one month after Paine became the editor of ''The Pennsylvania Magazine'', the magazine published an anonymous article titled "African Slavery in America," the first prominent piece in the colonies proposing the emancipation of African-American slaves and the Abolitionism in the United States, abolition of slavery. Paine is often credited with writing the piece, on the basis of later testimony by Benjamin Rush, cosigner of the Declaration of Independence. Citing a lack of further evidence of Paine's authorship, however, scholars Foner and Alfred Owen Aldridge no longer consider it to be one of his works. By contrast, journalist John Nichols writes that Paine's "fervent objections to Slavery in the United States, slavery" led to his exclusion from power during the early years of the Republic.


State funded social programs

In his ''Rights of Man, Part Second'', Paine advocated a comprehensive program of state support for the population to ensure the welfare of society, including state subsidy for poor people, state-financed universal public education, and state-sponsored prenatal care and postnatal care, including state subsidies to families at childbirth. Recognizing that a person's "labor ought to be over" before old age, Paine also called for a state pension to all workers starting at age 50, which would be doubled at age 60.


''Agrarian Justice''

His last pamphlet, ''
Agrarian Justice ''Agrarian Justice'' is the title of a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine and published in 1797, which proposed that those who possess cultivated land owe the community a ground rent, which justifies an estate tax to fund universal old-age and disabi ...
'', published in the winter of 1795, opposed agrarian law and agrarian monopoly and further developed his ideas in the ''Rights of Man'' about how land ownership separated the majority of people from their rightful, natural inheritance and means of independent survival. The U.S. Social Security Administration recognizes ''Agrarian Justice'' as the first American proposal for an Pension, old-age pension and basic income or citizen's dividend. Per ''Agrarian Justice'':
In advocating the case of the persons thus dispossessed, it is a right, and not a charity ... [Government must] create a national fund, out of which there shall be paid to every person, when arrived at the age of twenty-one years, the sum of fifteen pounds sterling, as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property. And also, the sum of ten pounds per annum, during life, to every person now living, of the age of fifty years, and to all others as they shall arrive at that age.
In 2011, £10 and £15 would be worth about £800 and £1,200 ($1,200 and $2,000) when adjusted for inflation. Lamb argues that Paine's analysis of property rights marks a distinct contribution to political theory. His theory of property defends a libertarian concern with private ownership that shows an egalitarian commitment. Paine's new justification of property sets him apart from previous theorists such as Hugo Grotius, Samuel von Pufendorf and John Locke. Lamb says it demonstrates Paine's commitment to foundational liberal values of individual freedom and moral equality. In response to Paine's "Agrarian Justice", Thomas Spence wrote "The Rights of Infants" wherein Spence argues that Paine's plan was not beneficial to impoverished people because landlords would just keep raising land prices, further enriching themselves rather than giving the commonwealth an equal chance.


Religious views

Before his arrest and imprisonment in France, knowing that he would probably be arrested and executed, following in the tradition of Deism#The rise of British deism (1690–1740), early 18th-century British Deism Paine wrote the first part of ''
The Age of Reason ''The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology'' is a work by English and American political activist Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; – In the contemporary record as noted by Conway, Paine's birt ...
'' (1793–1794). Paine's religious views as expressed in ''The Age of Reason'' caused quite a stir in religious society, effectively splitting the religious groups into two major factions: those who wanted church disestablishment, and the Christians who wanted Christianity to continue having a strong social influence. About his own religious beliefs, Paine wrote in ''The Age of Reason'': Though there is no evidence Paine himself was a Freemason,Shai Afsai,
Thomas Paine, Deism, and the Masonic Fraternity
, ''Journal of the American Revolution'', November 7, 2016.
upon his return to America from France he penned "An Essay on the Origin of Free-Masonry" (1803–1805) about Freemasonry being derived from the Druid, religion of the ancient Druids. Marguerite de Bonneville published the essay in 1810 after Paine's death, but she chose to omit certain passages from it that were Criticism of Christianity, critical of Christianity, most of which were restored in an 1818 printing. In the essay, Paine stated that "the christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun." Paine also had a Criticism of Judaism, negative attitude toward Judaism. While never describing himself as a Deism, Deist, he openly advocated Deism in his writings, and called Deism "the only true religion":
The opinions I have advanced ... are the effect of the most clear and long-established conviction that the Bible and the Testament are impositions upon the world, that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation, by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is
Deism Deism ( or ; derived from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
, by which I then meant, and mean now, the belief of one God, and an imitation of his moral character, or the practice of what are called moral virtuesand that it was upon this only (so far as religion is concerned) that I rested all my hopes of happiness hereafter. So say I nowand so help me God.


Legacy

Historian Jack P. Greene stated: Harvey J. Kaye wrote that through Paine, through his pamphlets and catchphrases such as "The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth," "We have it in our power to begin the world over again," and "These are the times that try men's souls" did more than move Americans to declare their independence: John Stevenson argues that in the early 1790s, numerous radical political societies were formed throughout England and Wales in which Paine's writings provided "a boost to the self-confidence of those seeking to participate in politics for the first time." In its immediate effects, Gary Kates argues, "Paine's vision unified Philadelphia merchants, British artisans, French peasants, Dutch reformers, and radical intellectuals from Boston to Berlin in one great movement." His writings in the long term inspired Philosophical radicals, philosophic and working-class radicalism (historical), radicals in Britain and United States. American liberalism, Liberals, libertarianism, libertarians, left-libertarianism, left-libertarians, Feminism, feminists, democratic socialists, social democrats, anarchists, Freethought, free thinkers and Progressivism, progressives often claim him as an intellectual ancestor. Paine's critique of institutionalized religion and advocacy of rational thinking influenced many British freethinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries, such as William Cobbett, George Holyoake, Charles Bradlaugh, Christopher Hitchens and Bertrand Russell. The quote "Lead, follow, or get out of the way" is widely but incorrectly attributed to Paine. It can be found nowhere in his published works.


Abraham Lincoln

In 1835, when he was 26 years old, Abraham Lincoln wrote a defense of Paine's deism. A political associate, Samuel Hill, burned the manuscript to save Lincoln's political career. Historian Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln's papers, said Paine had a strong influence on Lincoln's style:
No other writer of the eighteenth century, with the exception of Jefferson, parallels more closely the temper or gist of Lincoln's later thought. In style, Paine above all others affords the variety of eloquence which, chastened and adapted to Lincoln's own mood, is revealed in Lincoln's formal writings.


Thomas Edison

The inventor Thomas Edison said:
I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in this republic.... It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood... it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me, then, about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember, very vividly, the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings, and I recall thinking, at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!' My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days.


South America

In 1811, Venezuelan translator Manuel Garcia de Sena published a book in Philadelphia that consisted mostly of Spanish translations of several of Paine's most important works.John Street, ''Artigas and the Emancipation of Uruguay'' (London: Cambridge University Press, 1959), 178–86. The book also included translations of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of five U.S. states. It subsequently circulated widely in South America and through it Uruguayan national hero José Gervasio Artigas became familiar with and embraced Paine's ideas. In turn, many of Artigas's writings drew directly from Paine's, including the ''Instructions of 1813'', which Uruguayans consider to be one of their country's most important constitutional documents, and was one of the earliest writings to articulate a principled basis for an identity independent of Buenos Aires.


Memorials

The first and longest-standing memorial to Paine is the carved and inscribed 12-foot marble column in New Rochelle, New York, organized and funded by publisher, educator and reformer Gilbert Vale (1791–1866) and raised in 1839 by the American sculptor and architect John Frazee (sculptor), John Frazee, the Thomas Paine Monument (see image below). New Rochelle is also the original site of Thomas Paine Cottage, Thomas Paine's Cottage, which along with a 320-acre (130 ha) farm were presented to Paine in 1784 by act of the New York State Legislature for his services in the American Revolution. The same site is the home of the Thomas Paine National Historical Association, Thomas Paine Memorial Museum. In the 20th century, Joseph L. Lewis, Joseph Lewis, longtime president of the Freethinkers of America and an ardent Paine admirer, was instrumental in having larger-than-life-sized statues of Paine erected in each of the three countries with which the revolutionary writer was associated. The first, created by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum, was erected in Paris just before World War II began but not formally dedicated until 1948. It depicts Paine standing before the French
National Convention The National Convention (french: link=no, Convention nationale) was a parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (poli ...
to plead for the life of King Louis XVI. The second, sculpted in 1950 by Georg J. Lober, was erected near Paine's one time home in Morristown, New Jersey. It shows a seated Paine using a drum-head as a makeshift table. The third, sculpted by Sir Charles Wheeler (sculptor), Charles Wheeler, President of the Royal Academy, was erected in 1964 in Paine's birthplace,
Thetford Thetford is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to th ...

Thetford
, England. With a quill pen in his right hand and an inverted copy of ''The Rights of Man'' in his left, it occupies a prominent spot on King Street. Thomas Paine was ranked No. 34 in the ''100 Greatest Britons'' 2002 extensive Nationwide poll conducted by the BBC.


In popular culture

* The 1982 French-Italian film ''That Night in Varennes'' is about a fictional meeting of Giacomo Casanova, Casanova, Chevalier de Seingalt (played by Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni), Nicolas Edmé Restif de la Bretonne, Countess Sophie de la Borde and Thomas Paine (played by American actor Harvey Keitel) as they ride in a carriage a few hours behind the carriage carrying the King and Queen of France,
Louis XVI Louis XVI (Louis-Auguste; ; 23 August 175421 January 1793) was the last King of France The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) wa ...

Louis XVI
and Marie Antoinette, on Flight to Varennes, their attempt to escape from revolutionary France in 1791. *Jack Shepherd (actor), Jack Shepherd's 1989 stage play ''In Lambeth (play), In Lambeth'' dramatized a visit by Thomas Paine to the Lambeth home of William Blake, William and Catherine Blake (wife of William Blake), Catherine Blake in 1789. *In 1995, the English folk singer Graham Moore released a song called ''Tom Paine's Bones'' on an album of the same name. The song has since been covered by a number of other artists, including Dick Gaughan, Grace Petrie and The Trials of Cato, Trials of Cato. * In 2005, Trevor Griffiths published ''These are the Times: A Life of Thomas Paine'', originally written as a screenplay for Richard Attenborough, Richard Attenborough Productions. Although the film was not made, the play was broadcast as a two-part drama on BBC Radio 4 in 2008, with a repeat in 2012. In 2009, Griffiths adapted the screenplay for a production entitled ''A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine, A New World'' at Shakespeare's Globe theatre on London's South Bank. * In 2009, Paine's life was dramatized in the play ''Thomas Paine Citizen of the World'', produced for the "Tom Paine 200 Celebrations" festivalTom Paine Legacy
, Programme for bicentenary celebrations in
Thetford Thetford is a market town A market town is a European settlement that obtained by custom or royal charter, in the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to th ...

Thetford
, the town of his birth.


See also

* Asset-based egalitarianism * British philosophy * Contributions to liberal theory * Liberty * List of American philosophers * List of British philosophers * List of civil rights leaders * Society of the Friends of Truth


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* * . Regarded by British authorities as the standard biography. * * * *. Valuable blend of historiographical essay and biographical/analytical treatment. * *. Excellent analysis of Paine's thought. *. Long hailed as the definitive biography, and still valuable. * *. The standard monograph treating Paine's thought and work with regard to America. * * * Greene, Jack P. "Paine, America, and the 'Modernization' Of Political Consciousness," ''Political Science Quarterly'' 93#1 (1978) pp 73–9
Online
. * * Regarded by many American authorities as the standard biography. * * * *. One of the most valuable recent studies. * * * *. Their debate over the French Revolution. * * * * * * * * *


Fiction

* (historical novel, though sometimes mistaken as biography).


Primary sources

*, [//archive.org/details/writingsthomasp00paingoog E'book] * *. Authoritative and scholarly edition containing ''Common Sense,'' the essays comprising the ''American Crisis'' series, ''Rights of Man,'' ''The Age of Reason,'' ''Agrarian Justice,'' and selected briefer writings, with authoritative texts and careful annotation. * A complete edition of Paine's writings, on the model of Eric Foner's edition for the Library of America, is badly needed. Until then Philip Foner's two-volume edition is a serviceable substitute. Volume I contains the major works, and volume II contains shorter writings, both published essays and a selection of letters, but confusingly organized; in addition, Foner's attributions of writings to Paine have come in for some criticism in that Foner may have included writings that Paine edited but did not write and omitted some writings that later scholars have attributed to Paine.


External links


Thomas Paine Society (UK)

Thomas Paine Society (US)
* *


Works by Thomas Paine

* * * *

* [//archive.org/details/theologicalwork00paingoog The theological works of Thomas Paine] * [//archive.org/details/theologicalwork00rousgoog The theological works of Thomas Paine to which are appended the profession of faith of a savoyard vicar by J.J. Rousseau] {{DEFAULTSORT:Paine, Thomas Thomas Paine, 1737 births 1809 deaths 18th-century American people 18th-century American writers 18th-century English people 18th-century English writers 18th-century English male writers 18th-century philosophers 19th-century American writers 19th-century English writers 19th-century male writers 19th-century philosophers Activists from New Rochelle, New York American abolitionists American deists American foreign policy writers American libertarians American male non-fiction writers American nationalists American pamphleteers American political philosophers American revolutionaries American social commentators British classical liberals British deists British emigrants to the Thirteen Colonies British people of the American Revolution British social commentators Burials in New York (state) Critics of Christianity Critics of Judaism Critics of religions British cultural critics Deist philosophers Deputies to the French National Convention English businesspeople English inventors English privateers English republicans Enlightenment philosophers Hall of Fame for Great Americans inductees Members of the American Philosophical Society Radicals Patriots in the American Revolution Pennsylvania political activists People educated at Thetford Grammar School People from Bordentown, New Jersey People from Greenwich Village People from Thetford People of the American Enlightenment Philosophers of culture Philosophers of education Philosophers of history Philosophers of religion Political leaders of the American Revolution Political philosophers Prisoners sentenced to death by France American religious skeptics Social critics Social philosophers Theorists on Western civilization Universal basic income writers Writers about activism and social change Writers from New Rochelle, New York Writers from Norfolk