Biography Of Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – – June 8th, 1809) was a well-known philosopher, writer, and thinker and was a major character of British radicalism. His writings influenced his time in the French as well as the American Revolution. Paine also represented the ideals that were the Enlightenment.
“I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
– Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine’s early life
Paine was born in Thetford with a modest background. At one point, he was an apprentice in the corset shop of his father’s. He later worked at an office for excise located in Grantham, Lincolnshire, and later Lewes, East Sussex.
The year 1771 was the time he got married to his second wife Elizabeth Olive. In the years following, Tomas Paine became increasingly concerned about local political issues. He was a member of an area Vestry church, which took tithes and taxes to give to the poor.
It was 1772 when Paine began to participate in an effort to push for improved working conditions for employees of the Excise Duty. This resulted in his first book “The Case of the officers of the Excise.
After being fired from his job while narrowly staying out of debtors’ prison by selling household items, Paine left for London and, upon having a meeting with and impressing Benjamin Franklin, the two left in America under the guidance of Franklin.
The reason was that it was during the time of America the United States that Paine became famous due to his revolutionary pamphlet, “Common Sense. It was a plea for American freedom based on a democratic republican government.
“O! You who are devoted to mankind! You who dare to fight not just tyranny, but also the tyrant too, rise up! Every single spot in the Old World is inundated by oppression. Freedom has been hunted around the globe. Asia as well as Africa have been long-time exiles from her. Europe considers her an unknown person and England have warned her to leave. O! take the fugitive in your arms and make to have an asylum ready for all mankind.” — Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
It became a best-selling book and had a major impact in setting the tone for this American Independence movement. Paine’s ideas are not exclusive but he did possess the ability to communicate ideas using simple, yet efficient language.
In the conflict for the independence of America, George Washington often read the works from Paine (from the Crisis Pamphlet collection) to encourage his men.
“Without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain.”
Biography Of Thomas Paine
Attributed to John Adams
The next major work of Paine’s influence was his pamphlet “Rights of Man” which he wrote in 1790 while staying in London. Paine was a staunch fan of his country’s French revolution. He believed that the revolution was an important response to the oppression of the King and the monarchy. Paine was elated by the possibility that the revolution would be a manifestation of Republican principles of freedom, fraternity, and equal rights.
The Rights of Man was composed in response to a smear campaign by a prominent author Edmund Burke who wrote the critical pamphlet ” Reflections on the Revolution in France.”
The Rights of Man was an effective defense of individual liberty and democratic representative government. It was a powerful document in many respects. Paine had a lot ahead of the times. He wrote about the need for government to provide an extensive welfare program for those who are the most vulnerable in society. In spite of the support of fellow intellectuals like William Blake and Mary Wollstonecraft – during the Napoleonic wars there was a resurgence of opposition to his radicalism. Paine.
His Rights of Man resulted in his arrest for seditious defamation and made it necessary to exile Paine to flee Great Britain. A coordinated campaign against Paine resulted in making him a symbol of hatred or suspicion distinct from the most faithful supporters. In the wake of the Napoleonic wars, the atmosphere of nationalism heightened the suspicions of anyone who had radical sympathies, and Paine began to be seen as a snob within Great Britain.
It is possibly funny to note that Paine later turned against Napoleon following their dictatorship of Napoleon. Paine said that he was “the completest charlatan that ever existed”. This was in spite of Napoleon having claimed that he once had a copy of Paine’s Rights of Man on his pillow. The year 1797 was the first time Paine wrote an entire essay about the ways Napoleon might be able to invade Britain.
Another aspect that was ironic for Paine was that being one of the more passionate supporters of the French Revolution, he only just barely avoided the guillotine during Robespierre’s period of terror.
In addition to George Washington as well as Benjamin Franklin, Paine was awarded honorary French citizenship and was elected to the National Convention. He was a fervent supporter of the French republic, but to the shock of many, opposed the execution in the name of Louis XVI, arguing in principle that it would be better to send him back to the US. The issue for Paine was triggered by the rise of Robespierre. Under their increasingly oppressive system, Paine, along with other Girondins was imprisoned and detained in 1793, in December.
Paine’s cell was tagged as a place for execution. It was only his illness and a mix-up that kept him from being executed. Following the fall of Robespierre, Paine was released after becoming increasingly disillusioned by the regime of Napoleon, Paine returned to the US on the advice of President Jefferson.
While he was imprisoned in France, Paine began one of his most controversial works of the period. His book ‘ The Age of Reason The Age of Reason’ was an adamant critique of Christianity and the place of religion in our lives. Paine offered a rationale for the Deist religion – an intimate relationship with God with no interference from a priest or organized religions.
“I do not accept the creeds of the Jewish church as well as in the Roman church and the Greek church and the Turkish church and in The Protestant church, or by any other church, I have heard of. My mind is my church. ” – The Age of Reason
The belief was also held by some founders, such as Thomas Jefferson. However, by the beginning of the 19th century, a resurgence of religious fervor caused his beliefs increasingly unpopular with the vast majority of society. The last few years of his life witnessed an increase in former acquaintances and supporters becoming hostile towards his position (for instance, George Washington)
Thomas Paine died in 1809 He was mourned by a small number of people at the time.
Biography Of Thomas Paine
Robert G. Ingersoll wrote:
“Thomas Paine” had reached the legendary threshold of his life. In a single moment, the majority of his former friends and acquaintances left him. On every side, he was ridiculed as well as execrated, disregarded, and resented His virtues deemed to sin, his work discarded and his character tarnished however, he kept the poise and sanity that he had in his life. It was his fault that he was the victim of the populace, yet his convictions were unshaken.”
Thomas Paine has been a long-lasting inspiration to secular humanism, and deist belief systems as well as an inspiration for later socialists and radicals.
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