Things you may not know about Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine in brief
Thomas Paine lived at a time when revolution was in the air. He was an inspirational writer who wanted to change the way people thought and acted. His writings were able to stir the hearts of ordinary people.
His clear, easy-to-read, writing style, meant that millions of people read his works. So, when he wrote that Americans should fight for complete independence from Britain and set up a government which upheld the rights of ordinary men and women, they listened. When he wrote to defeated and demoralised Revolutionary soldiers, urging them to remain true to their cause, they obeyed. And his book 'Rights of Man', written in support of the French Revolution, has inspired many thinkers and politicians down the ages to work for a government that enables all people to live free and secure lives.
At the time, however, his writings saw him charged with treason in Britain, and he had to flee to France. Here he was welcomed as a hero, only to be put into prison sometime later. It was during his imprisonment that he finished the first part of one of his most controversial works, ‘The Age of Reason'. Although he believed in God, he despised organised religion. The book lost him many friends.
Thomas Paine also found time to be an inventor and engineer. He designed iron bridges and a smokeless candle. He was also, it appears, a difficult man to get on with, and he quarrelled with many of his friends. His writings made him many enemies amongst the ruling classes and the religious leaders of the time. He died poor and almost friendless, in New York, in 1809. However his writings live on - encouraging people to question how the world should be and struggle for change. And people are still listening, even now!
legal document - text
Thomas Paine's deed of legal separation from his 2nd wife
Reflections on unhappy marriages (Pennsylvanian Magazine)
Common Sense (Introduction)
Quotation from Thomas Paine's Common Sense
Text from Document
Declaration of Independence
Liberty Tree - By Thomas Paine
Quotations from Thomas Paine's Rights of Man
Quotations from Thomas Paine's Age of Reason
The Age of Paine
Thomas Edison's views on Paine
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