History's HEROES? 1737 - 1809

Thomas Paine

What he did


His legacy

Thomas Paine had a very great influence on many of the thinkers and philosophers of his day, especially the American Revolutionaries. Since his death, his writings have inspired many thinkers and politicians, in the United Kingdom and all over the world, in their efforts to bring about a fairer society: one in which all people have their human rights respected. Both Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Alva Edison read him with respect. Edison said of Paine:

I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans...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!'

Thomas Paine's writings are listed as follows:

Common Sense (1776)
The American Crisis: numbers 1-13 (1776-1782)
A Supernumerary Crisis: Numbers 1 and 2  (1783)
Public Good (1780)
The Rights of Man - Parts 1 and 2 (1791-92)
Dissertation on First Principles of Government (1795)
The Age of Reason Parts 1 and 2 (1794-96)
Letter to George Washington, President of the United States of America, on Affairs Public and Private (1796)
A Supernumerary Crisis numbers 2 (2nd edition) -9, 11, and The Crisis Extraordinary republished in The American Crisis (c.1796)
Agrarian Justice (1797)

Many modern day university courses on Human Rights start with Thomas Paine's writings. Still, today, millions of people have their basic human rights ignored by their governments, and Thomas Paine's fight still goes on.

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