83 Facts About Thomas Paine


Thomas Paine authored Common Sense and The American Crisis, two of the most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he helped to inspire the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain.


Thomas Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution.


Thomas Paine's work advocated the right of the people to overthrow their government and was therefore targeted with a writ for his arrest issued in early 1792.


Thomas Paine became notorious because of his pamphlets and attacks on his former allies, who he felt had betrayed him.


Thomas Paine published the pamphlet Agrarian Justice, discussing the origins of property and introducing the concept of a guaranteed minimum income through a one-time inheritance tax on landowners.


Thomas Paine first became involved in civic matters when he was based in Lewes.


Thomas Paine appears in the Town Book as a member of the Court Leet, the governing body for the town.


Thomas Paine was a member of the parish vestry, an influential local Anglican church group whose responsibilities for parish business would include collecting taxes and tithes to distribute among the poor.


From 1772 to 1773, Thomas 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.


Thomas Paine was publisher and editor of the largest American newspaper, The Pennsylvania Gazette and suggested emigration to Philadelphia.


Thomas Paine became a citizen of Pennsylvania "by taking the oath of allegiance at a very early period".


Thomas 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.


Consciously appealing to a broader and more working-class audience, Thomas Paine used the magazine to discuss worker rights to production.


Thomas 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.


At the advice of Rush, Thomas Paine commissioned Robert Bell to print his work.


Thomas Paine provided a new and convincing argument for independence by advocating a complete break with history.


Whereas colonial resentments were originally directed primarily against the king's ministers and Parliament, Thomas Paine laid the responsibility firmly at the king's door.


Thomas 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.


Part of Thomas 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 Thomas Paine's contemporaries.


One distinctive idea in Common Sense is Thomas 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.


Loyalists vigorously attacked Common Sense; one attack, titled Plain Truth, by Marylander James Chalmers, said Thomas Paine was a political quack and warned that without monarchy, the government would "degenerate into democracy".


Adams disagreed with the type of radical democracy promoted by Thomas Paine and published Thoughts on Government in 1776 to advocate a more conservative approach to republicanism.


Sophia Rosenfeld argues that Thomas Paine was highly innovative in his use of the commonplace notion of "common sense".


Thomas Paine synthesized various philosophical and political uses of the term in a way that permanently impacted American political thought.


Thomas Paine 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.


Thomas Paine used a notion of "common sense" favored by philosophes in the Continental Enlightenment.


Thomas Paine pointed to the Old Testament, where almost all kings had seduced the Israelites to worship idols instead of God.


Thomas Paine calls the Revolutionary generation "the children of the twice-born".


The degree to which Thomas 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.


In late 1776, Thomas Paine published The American Crisis pamphlet series to inspire the Americans in their battles against the British army.


Thomas Paine juxtaposed the conflict between the good American devoted to civic virtue and the selfish provincial man.


In 1777, Thomas Paine became secretary of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs.


Thomas Paine uncovered the financial connection between Morris, who was Superintendent for Finance of the Continental Congress, and Deane.


Thomas 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.


The controversy eventually became public, and Thomas Paine was then denounced as unpatriotic for criticizing an American revolutionary.


Thomas Paine was even physically assaulted twice in the street by Deane supporters.


Thomas Paine left the Committee without even having enough money to buy food for himself.


Much later, when Thomas Paine returned from his mission to France, Deane's corruption had become more widely acknowledged.


In 1780, Thomas 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.


In "Public Good," Thomas Paine argued that these lands belonged to the American government as represented by the Continental Congress.


The view that Thomas Paine had advocated eventually prevailed when the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was passed.


The animosity Thomas Paine felt as a result of the publication of "Public Good" fueled his decision to embark with Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens on a mission to travel to Paris to obtain funding for the American war effort.


Thomas Paine made influential acquaintances in Paris and helped organize the Bank of North America to raise money to supply the army.


When he was later exchanged for the prisoner Lord Cornwallis in late 1781, Thomas Paine proceeded to the Netherlands to continue the loan negotiations.


Thomas 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.


In 1785, Thomas Paine was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society.


In 1787, a bridge of Thomas Paine's design was built across the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia.


Thomas 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.


Back in London by 1787, Thomas Paine would become engrossed in the French Revolution that began two years later, and decided to travel to France in 1790.


Thomas Paine set out to refute it in his Rights of Man.


Thomas Paine 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.


Thomas Paine charged three good friends, William Godwin, Thomas Brand Hollis, and Thomas Holcroft, with handling publication details.


An indictment for seditious libel followed, for both publisher and author, while government agents followed Thomas Paine and instigated mobs, hate meetings, and burnings in effigy.


Thomas Paine was then tried in absentia and found guilty, although never executed.


The translator, Francois Lanthenas, eliminated the dedication to Lafayette, as he believed Thomas Paine thought too highly of Lafayette, who was seen as a royalist sympathizer at the time.


Thomas Paine was an enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution, and was granted honorary French citizenship alongside prominent contemporaries such as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and others.


Several weeks after his election to the National Convention, Thomas 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.


Thomas Paine subsequentially participated in the Constitutional Committee in drafting the Girondin constitutional project.


Thomas Paine voted for the French Republic, but argued against the execution of Louis XVI, saying the monarch should instead be exiled 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.


Marat interrupted a second time, stating that the translator was deceiving the convention by distorting the meanings of Thomas Paine's words, prompting Thomas Paine to provide a copy of the speech as proof that he was being correctly translated.


Sixteen American citizens were allowed to plead for Thomas Paine's release to the Convention, yet President Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier of the Committee of General Security refused to acknowledge Thomas Paine's American citizenship, stating he was an Englishman and a citizen of a country at war with France.


Thomas Paine himself protested and claimed that he was a citizen of the US, 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 Thomas Paine later wrote that Morris had connived at his imprisonment.


Thomas Paine kept his head and survived the few vital days needed to be spared by the fall of Robespierre on 9 Thermidor.


Thomas Paine was one of only three deputes to oppose the adoption of the new 1795 constitution because it eliminated universal suffrage, which had been proclaimed by the Montagnard Constitution of 1793.


In 1797, Thomas Paine lived in Paris with Nicholas Bonneville and his wife.


Thomas Paine believed that the United States under President John Adams had betrayed revolutionary France.


Thomas Paine stayed on with him, helping Bonneville with the burden of translating the "Covenant Sea".


In 1804, Thomas Paine returned to the subject, writing To the People of England on the Invasion of England advocating the idea.


Thomas Paine remained in France until 1802, returning to the United States only at President Jefferson's invitation.


Thomas 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".


Thomas Paine 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".


Thomas Paine commented on Washington's character, saying that Washington had no sympathetic feelings and was a hypocrite.


Thomas Paine returned to the United States in the early stages of the Second Great Awakening and a time of great political partisanship.


Thomas Paine was a victim of the people, but his convictions remained unshaken.


Thomas Paine was still a soldier in the army of freedom, and still tried to enlighten and civilize those who were impatiently waiting for his death.


Thomas Paine's utopianism combined civic republicanism, belief in the inevitability of scientific and social progress and commitment to free markets and liberty generally.


Thomas Paine is often credited with writing the piece, on the basis of later testimony by Benjamin Rush, cosigner of the Declaration of Independence.


About his own religious beliefs, Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason:.


Historian Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln's papers, said Thomas Paine had a strong influence on Lincoln's style:.


Thomas Paine educated me, then, about many matters of which I had never before thought.


In turn, many of Artigas's writings drew directly from Thomas 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.


Thomas Paine was ranked No 34 in the 100 Greatest Britons 2002 extensive Nationwide poll conducted by the BBC.