Thomas Paine (1737-1809), a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal, intellectual, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical, liberal, intellectual, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He went to America on Benjamin Franklin's recommendation, just in time to advocate the American Revolution with his strong and widely read tract, Common Sense. Later in life, he had a significant impact on the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man as a primer on Enlightenment ideals. In 1792, despite his incapacity to communicate in French, he was elected to the French National Assembly.
He was seen as a Girondist ally, but the Montagnards, particularly Robespierre, were growing dissatisfied with him. In December 1793, he was captured and imprisoned in Paris; he was released in 1794. His work The Age of Reason, which championed deism and criticized Christian ideas, made him famous. While in France, he also published Agrarian Justice, a pamphlet that analyzed the origins of property and proposed a proposal similar to a guaranteed minimum income.
He stayed in France until 1802, when he accepted an offer from Thomas Jefferson, the newly elected president of the United States.
- Common Sense (Dover Thrift Editions)
- The Age of Reason
- Thomas Paine: Collected Writings (Loa #76): Common Sense / The American Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters
- Rights of Man (Dover Thrift Editions)
- Rights of Man, Common Sense, and Other Political Writings