Paine, Thomas (1737–1809) - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Paine, Thomas(1737–1809)

Thomas Paine, the author, deist, and American revolutionary leader, was born at Thetford, Norfolk, in England. After an inconspicuous start in life as corset maker and customs officer, Paine emigrated at the age of thirty-seven from England to Philadelphia, carrying a letter of recommendation from Benjamin Franklin. Caught up almost immediately in the turmoil of the developing revolution, Paine published Common Sense (January 1776), the first public appeal for American independence as well as the pioneer enunciation of the diplomatic doctrine of avoiding European entanglements. In addition to attacking hereditary aristocracy, Paine expounded the theory that government and society are distinct entities and are not to be confounded, a theory also developed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and later by William Godwin.

During subsequent stages of the American Revolution, Paine wrote a number of influential newspaper essays, including a famous series, the Crisis, concerned with particular political...

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This section contains 1,180 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Paine, Thomas (1737–1809) Encyclopedia Article
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Paine, Thomas (1737–1809) from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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