Thomas Paine

Writer / Political Figure

Born: 29 January 1737
Died: 8 June 1809
Birthplace: Thetford, England
Best known as: The author of Common Sense
Thomas Paine was one of the great fiery voices of the American Revolution. Paine emigrated from England to Philadelphia in 1774. Two years later he published Common Sense, a popular pamphlet that argued for complete American independence from Britain. Later that year in his pamphlet The American Crisis he penned his famous line, "These are the times that try men's souls." The revolution won, Paine returned to England in 1787, and in 1791 he published The Rights of Man, which opposed the idea of monarchy and defended the French Revolution. To escape being tried for treason, he fled to Paris, where he wrote The Age of Reason. In 1802 he returned to America, only to find himself outcast and poverty-stricken in his final years.

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