Thomas Paine Biography | Author of Common Sense

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Born in 1737 in England, Paine was the son of a Quaker corset maker. After trying his hand at the family business, he became bored and looked for other opportunities. His wife and child died in childbirth when Paine was in his early twenties. He tried a variety of jobs including seaman, tax collector, English teacher, and shop owner. He married again in his thirties, but he and his second wife soon separated. Still frustrated professionally, Paine moved to the American colonies at Benjamin Franklin's encouragement in late 1774 and quickly became a successful political writer. He published antislavery arguments and edited Pennsylvania Magazine in 1775.

His (literally) revolutionary Common Sense appeared in early 1776 and was followed by his American Crisis papers—sixteen in all over the next seven years. With these texts, Paine helped lead unsure and weary colonists to their destiny of self-governing Americans. Despite...

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This section contains 632 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Common Sense Study Guide
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