Thomas Paine was a radical political propagandist for the American revolution and a proponent of deism as a philosophy of natural religion. Paine was born in Thetford in Norfolk, England, of a poor Quaker family. His grammar school education was interrupted at the age of thirteen to begin an apprenticeship in his father’s trade of corset maker, until he went to sea in a privateer at the age of eighteen. He began writing pamphlets on political topics of the day, including his noted (1772) polemic with the self-explanatory title, .
With the publication of this paper, Paine offended his superiors, was dismissed from his post, and shortly after separated from his second wife. He emigrated to the American colonies in 1774 on the advice of , whom he met in London and who helped finance Paine’s relocation. Paine settled in Philadelphia and began working as a journalist, writing for the . Although he had been in America for less than a year, Paine quickly became involved in the struggle for American independence. On 10 January 1776, he published the work for which he is probably best known, the influential pamphlet . Avoiding technical jargon or abstruse philosophical consideration, Paine, as the title of his pamphlet indicated, emphasized widely known facts and commonsense political reasoning that were awaiting someone of his ability to articulate for a popular readership. Paine declares that government is a necessary evil limited to regulatory functions that can only be tempered to avoid infringements of individual liberty by frequent free elections in a representative democracy. Paine was among the first revolutionists to call for a declaration of American independence from the British monarchy. The impact of , selling more than 500,000 copies, frequently reprinted and widely circulated from hand to hand among the American colonists, was decisive in the eventual decision of the Continental Congress to issue its Declaration of Independence on 4 July 1776, written primarily by , but powerfully presided over by the Enlightenment spirit of Paine’s .
Paine returned to England in 1787, and in the 1790’s, he began again to immerse himself in political affairs, this time in support of the French revolution. In 1791-2, Paine published his most important contribution to political philosophy, the , in which he defended political rights for all persons on the grounds of their natural equality under God and concluded, much as in the , that only a republic founded on the democratic principles could protect the equal rights of all citizens, who were to benefit from his detailed program of social legislation aimed at alleviating poverty. Paine, who had also hoped by his writings to ferment social revolution in Britain, was forced to leave England in September 1792, whereupon he relocated to France. In August 1792, he became a French citizen and was subsequently elected to the National Convention. Incapable as ever of compromising his principles, Paine soon ran afoul of the Committee of Public Safety and was imprisoned in Paris until released through the intercession of the new American minister, James Monroe. Ironically, Paine, who was thought to be too radical for his native land, in part because of his opposition to execution by guillotine of King Louis XVI, was simultaneously perceived as too moderate by the extreme Jacobin faction that came to dominate the French revolution during the Reign of Terror.
It was during his incarceration that Paine began work on his most ambitious work, , published in 1794-1795. In this philosophical work, Paine rejects Christianity, expressed his commitment to science in the person of Isaac Newton, and argues that nature reveals the existence of God in the lawlike order of the universe. Paine denies that the Bible is the revealed word of God and maintains that many of its stories are immoral and riddled with logical inconsistencies. is Paine’s manifesto for deism, the view that a God probably exists as the intelligent designer of the universe, but that there is no reason to attribute any moral attributes that to god obligate human beings to worship God or consider God a righteous judge. Paine’s political and religious activities earned him considerable enmity in France as in England, and in October 1802, he returned to the United States. Although warmly welcomed by Jefferson, Paine remained impoverished, officially neglected, and in ill health, until his death on 8 June 1809.
Thomas Paine: American Crisis - US History
The Guttenberg revolution of the Renaissance provided the spark and the Reformation of the sixteenth century the explosive fuel for the pamphleteering phenomenon.As the pamphlet form took root, then so English prose emerged from its antique form with an extraordinary rash of stylistic innovations to embrace such unlikely postures as subversive fulmination, cod polemic, ferocious satire, and manifesto. In times of religious ferment, civil war, colonial unrest and revolution, such texts - risky or even dangerous to publish - were often the product of secret presses and anonymous authors.At the other exposure, there were those who encountered that risk - and found notoriety or lasting fame along the way. In the hands of a select few, the pamphlet reached a level of high achievement beyond any ordinary Grub Street reckoning. As a special focus, the narrative reveals how the early journalists were driven not so much by scandal and sensationalism at home and abroad but by major historical events on the world stage: the Reformation, the English Revolution, the War of the Spanish Succession, and the revolutions in America and in France. Along a mighty timeline, these were the great political tides that led to the birth of journalism, the periodical press, and the emergence of the fourth estate.In this brief survey, the author also includes vignettes on seven pamphleteers: Robert Greene, Thomas Nashe, Thomas Dekker, John Milton, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, and culminating with the high achievement of Tom Paine. The Pamphleteers is itself a pamphlet for the digital age. The Author
James A. Oliver is an international writer, editor, and occasional journalist. He is the author of A Footprint in the Sand, an epic political comedy inspired by a special assignment at the end of the Cold War, and - a play set in near-future London.In 2006, was published worldwide. In 2007, he was invited to Moscow by the Russian Academy of Scientists to discuss the subject at the inaugural World Link conference. (The concept was later awarded the Grand Prix for innovation at the World Expo in Shanghai.)From 2007-2009, he lived and worked on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, where he also developed the script for James Oliver is presently based at a remote location for his research on The Strait of Gibraltar: antiquity to the 21st century. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.- timeline -
Free Thomas Paine Essays and Papers - 123helpme
Under pressure from an external threat of power, people will come together under a united front for protection...self-preservation and self-interest are bored into the minds of those being threatened. Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was one of the greatest writers of the Revolutionary era. Paine joined General George Washington's army in New Jersey in December 1776. By then, Washington was a desperate man. As the soldiers prepared, Paine, at Washington's request, at once began writing the series of essays called The Crisis. Their purpose was to inspire hope and to remind people of what they were fighting for: freedom.
Here are quotes by one of America's greatest founding fathers, Thomas Paine, and related quotations about America's founding. For more history, see .
Free Thomas Paine papers, essays, and research papers.
Thanks – that was fascinating; as were the few responses that I’ve worked through so far. From a Christian world view, though, I’d point out that it probably wasn’t a coincidence that the most successfully practical and utilitarian society in the history of mankind (ours) was made up of, and largely led by, theists rather than philosophical materialists and utilitarians. I’ll yield to the notion that Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine might have been best described as the latter. They were an important minority; but a minority, still, and were the exceptions to the rule. EVR should thank his lucky stars (or whatever moral basis or First Cause he holds dear) that he is heir to a society that was founded by theists, not pure utilitarians (they stayed at home). Sometimes the best way to get from point A to point B is to aim beyond – for point C.