Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Topics: Age of Enlightenment, American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin Pages: 3 (841 words) Published: November 12, 2008
Thomas Paine was born at Thetford, Norfolk, on January 29, 1737. He was the son of a Quaker staymaker and he spent several years at sea after he tried some occupations on land. He only went to school up to the age of thirteen because he started to work for his father. After some time he took low-paying jobs in tax-collecting, and he winded up educating himself in his free time. Paine was fired for publishing an article arguing that raising tax-collectors’ salaries would reduce corruption in 1772. Thomas Paine eventually met Benjamin Franklin which was pretty much the turning point of his life. Benjamin Franklin eventually convinced Paine to move to America at the age of 37.

Thomas Paine wrote Right of Man in 1791, which was a guide to Enlightenment ideas. In 1973, his book The Age of Reason, argued against Christian doctrines. He has a claim to the title The Father of the American Revolution because of Common Sense, originally titled Plain Truth, which was the pro-independence monograph pamphlet he anonymously published on January 10, 1776. This quickly spread and it was the best selling work in eighteenth-century America. It made complex ideas understandable to average readers, with clear writing. He argued that the colonies should seek full independence from Britain. Common Sense supposedly convinced many who were unsure of the purpose of the war and played a profound role in influencing the opinion of laymen and lawmakers alike. It was one of the main reasons that caused the colonies’ decision to engage in a battle for complete independence.

Thomas Paine died at the age of 72 in Greenwich Village, New York City on June 8, 1809. He was buried in New Rochelle, New York because he had lived there since 1802 when he returned to America. Even though we know where he was initially buried, we do not know his resting place today because his remains were removed from the ground by an admirer looking to return them to England.

In the book Common...
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