Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

Easton Press Thomas Paine books

Rights of Man - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1979
Common Sense - 1994
Common Sense - Treasures of The Library of Congress

Franklin Library Thomas Paine books

Political writings of Thomas Paine - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1978
Selected Writings of Thomas Paine (includes Common Sense, The Age of Reason and The American
Crisis)  - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1979


Thomas Paine biography

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an American author and philosopher who was born in Thetford, Norfolk, England, and immigrated to America 1774. Benjamin Franklin was instrumental in the immigration of Thomas Paine and subsequently he settled in Philadelphia. Following the publication of his landmark pamphlet on independence Common Sense in 1776, he was appointed to secretary of the committee on foreign affairs by Congress. After holding the position for one year, he was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania legislature. He was awarded a confiscated farm in New Rochelle New York in 1785. Two years later Thomas Paine returned to England and, in 1792, published his famous book The Rights of Man as an argument against Edmund Burke's book on the French Revolution. Following publication, The Rights of Man sold over 1 and a half million copies in England. Around the time The Rights of Man was published, Thomas Paine was elected as the deputy to the National Convention by the department of Pas de Calais. This resulted in his travel to Paris where he voted in favor of the Girondists. Having angered the Robespierre faction he was subsequently imprisoned in 1794. Shortly before imprisonment, Thomas Paine began writing his famous book supporting deism The Age of Reason. This controversial book which argues against Christianity and atheism, alienated Thomas Paine from many former associates, and was not completed until 1807. Following his release from prison he was again appointed the deputy of the National Convention until 1802 when he returned to America. Following his death, a radical named William Cobbett stole the remains of Thomas Paine and took them to England. The remains were in William Cobbett's possession until his death. Today the exact whereabouts of Thomas Paine's remains is a mystery.

Common Sense

Common Sense is a pamphlet (published January 10, 1776) by Thomas Paine, which, in the first year of the American Revolutionary War, had great influence in turning American public opinion toward the idea of complete independence from Great Britain. Common Sense was an important factor in bringing about the issuance of the Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress in July, 1776. Thomas Paine's Common Sense pointed out that the colonies received no advantage from their connection with the mother country, which was intent on exploiting them; and that every consideration of common sense called for the colonies to become independent of Great Britain and to establish a government of their own, not monarchical but republican. The pamphlet, published anonymously in Philadelphia, sold over 100,000 copies in about 10 weeks.

The Age of Reason

The Age of Reason is a controversial book about religion by Thomas Paine, the Anglo American author who also wrote two of the most famous books in American Literature titled The Rights of Man and Common Sense. The Age of Reason was published as part one in 1794, and as parts one and two in 1796. Thomas Paine endorsed a natural religion based entirely on reason, and was against atheism and Christianity equally. Thomas Paine decided to write The Age of Reason because the French Revolution in 1789 was opposed to all established religions, as is evident in the quote "lest, in the general wreck of superstition we lose sight of morality, of humanity, and of the theology that is true". The Age of Reason alienated Thomas Paine from most of his friends, including George Washington, because of its radical attack on popular religion. It should however be noted that although it was viewed with great distaste, The Age of Reason has withstood the test of time. This lasting impact of the book is due to its influence on 19Th century criticism of Christianity and the Bible.

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