Chosen as a "Paper of the Week":
One of the most well-known intellectuals and leaders of the American revolutionary movement is Thomas Paine, a political philosopher and writer born in England. Thomas Paine was also one of the most important of these leaders, leaving behind him a lasting legacy for American society and politics. In fact, Paine wrote “Common Sense”, one of the most influential documents of the American Revolution. And to help commemorate this important document, paper #97600, entitled “Thomas Paine”, was chosen as this week’s paper of the week on AcaDemon. Paper #97600 takes a fascinating look at not only Paine’s most powerful and decisive works and their impact on American society, but it also takes a very specific look at “Common Sense” and it’s influence on the American Revolution. The paper presents an insightful, informative, enlightening and all around excellent analysis of Paine’s “Common Sense” and its lasting reverberations for America.
His Main Works and their Context
A Focus on "Common Sense": Paine's Influence on American Independence
From the Paper:"After the United States' victory over England, Paine didn't take part in the establishment of the new republic. He returned to Europe instead and soon played a part in the political debate over the French Revolution and wrote The Rights of Man (1791, 1792) that supported the revolution. In this work, Paine defended the natural equality of all men in the sight of God and their political rights, denounced hereditary monarchy and called for republican principles. Moreover Paine also analysed the basic reasons for great discontentment in Europe and tried to find a solution to poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and war. He proposed the levying of a progressive income tax to finance a social plan to educate the population, to help the poor, to financially support aged people and to create public works for unemployed people."
Sample of Sources Used:
- The Reader's Companion to American History, Eric Foner and John A. Garraty (editors), publisher : Houghton Mifflin Company (October 21, 1991)
- The life of Thomas Paine, author of Common sense, Rights of man, Age of reason, etc., etc. with critical and explanatory observations on his writings, by Michigan Historical Reprint Series, publisher : Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan Library (December 20, 2005)
- Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson, publisher : Penguin Group (USA)
- Thomas Paine : Collected Writings : Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters, editor Eric Foner, publisher : Library of America (March 1, 1995)