Quotations at

The Phrase Finder

The major writings of Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

 

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809) was born in humble circumstances in Thetford, Norfolk, England and became one of the world's most prominent political theorists, significantly influencing both the American and French revolutions.
He inspired and enthused the founders of the American Revolution to declare the country to be independent from Britain, especially to renounce the rule of the British monarchy. He wrote several major works that have had an ongoing effect on political and moral thinkers:
Common Sense
Rights of Man: Part the First
Rights of Man: Part the Second
The Age of Reason - Part I
The Age of Reason - Part II
He made many notable an influential friends and colleagues amongst the prominent thinkers, scientists and politicians of his day. In the end though, his outspokenness against Christianity and the high ideals of his freethinking internationalism and 'all men are created equal' philosophy proved too difficult to live up to for the more practically-minded people around him. He died somewhat out of favour and disillusioned and only six people attended his funeral.

He has received a well-deserved return to recognition in recent years and now enjoys a status of being one of history's most influential revolutionary thinkers.