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Paine Thomas


Common Sense

By  Travis R. - Gotha Middle School, Windermere, Florida.

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737 at Thetford, Norfolk in England as a son of an Anglican mother and a Quaker father. He was poor throughout his life. At 13 years old Thomas started working for his father at 19 and went to sea. Thomas returned to England shortly thereafter and moved through various jobs, after becoming a excise officer. A a officer he had to collect taxes from smugglers he tracked down. Three things Thomas Paine was famous for was The American Crisis, The rights of Man, and Common Sense.
Between 1776 and 1783 Thomas wrote a series of pamphlets entitled The American Crisis. His words inspired those who battled in in the Revolutionary War, and included the now famous first line, "These are the times that try men's souls". George Washington ordered the pamphlets an dread it to his troops in hope of that would inspire them to endure.

Paine returned to Great Britain in 1787, 1791, and 1792, he published The Rights of Man, in two parts. It was famous of all replies to the condemnatory Reflection Upon the French Revolution by the statesmen Edmund Burke. It was also an analysis of the weakness of European society, proposing such remedies as republican government and progressive income taxes. A million and a half copies were sold in England and led alone before the book was suppressed. Paine's criticism of monarchical rule in The Rights of Man caused an uproar for treason. He was tried in absentia while en route to France in December 1792.
On January 10, 1776 Thomas published his most famous work, the 50-page pamphlet, Common Sense. The document asserted that the colonist received no advantage from Great Britain, which was exploiting them, and that every consideration of common sense called for the colonies to become independent and establish a republican government of their own. The document went on to criticize the monarchy as an institution. Published anonymously, the pamphlet sold more than 500,000 copies and helped encourage, with comments such as, "The birthday of a new world is at hand," the issuance of the Declaration of Independence six months later.

The misinterpretation of this work resulted in Paine gaining ill repute as an atheist and in the alienation of most of his old friends. In 1802, Paine returned to the United States with the help of President Thomas Jefferson, and found that people there had a negative opinion of him as well. Thomas died in New York, and was buried on his farm in New Rochelle. Ten years later, journalist William Cobbett moved his remains. The things Thomas Paine was famous for were The American Crisis, The Rights of Man, and Common Sense.

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