Thomas Paine

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Early Life:

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737 in Thetford, UK to Joseph Paine, a Quaker, and Frances Paine, an Anglican. Paine also had a sister, Elizabeth, who died at seven months. He dropped out of school at age 12, but learned how to read, write, and do math. At 13, he started working for his father as a corset maker and later an officer of the excise. He did not do well in any of his jobs in his early life and constantly was a failure. Paine later married Mary Lambert, who, with their child, died during childbirth in 1760.

Political Affiliations/Loyalties:

Thomas Paine's political affiliations were all boiled down to wanting one thing: self-governing. He felt that the moral duty of man consists in imitating the morals of God, manifested in man and nature's laws. He also believed in Societal Independence, how we can expand our perspectives to greater mutual understanding and more universal thoughts. His last belief was that the government was not to be glorified, but instead only simply needed as contingent.


In 1774, after taking Benjamin Franklin's advice to move from London to America, Thomas Paine began writing for the Pennsylvania Magazine. Within 6 months, became the editor, despite the fact that he never learned to write flawless grammatical English. During his time at the magazine, Paine wrote many articles discouraging slavery, and the colonial fight of independence from England

Thomas Paine wrote many books/pamphlets that inspired people and movements. For example, the troops to continue their battle for independence from England. In "Common Sense", he expressed the idea of America's independence from England. The pamphlet sold 120,000 copies in America alone. He also wrote "The Rights of Man", "Letter to Washington", and "The Age of Reason". These all inspired democratic governments and freedom of thoughts and religion. Overall, Paine encouraged free thinking and standing up for a person's beliefs.

Writing wasn't all that Thomas Paine contributed to the development and independence of the colonies. He also served in the army with Washington. Later he contributed 500 dollars to Washington’s army and to the war effort.


Integrity - To have integrity is being honest and having a moral and ethical foundation. This is shown by one’s thoughts and actions.

Explanation - As a loved bestselling author of his pamphlet, “Common Sense”, most would agree that Thomas Paine had integrity and deeply cared about independence from Great Britain. His book written in January of 1776 discusses the notion that independence from Great Britain was an obvious choice and that the Colonies would be much better off on their own. To publish the book took some integrity given how vulnerable it made him to have all his opinions about the powerful Great Britain available to public eyes. Later in life, Thomas Paine began to be hated because of his integrity having to do with his opinions regarding the execution of former King of France, Louis XVI as well as his religious opinions. In 1793, he was arrested in France because he was against the execution of King Louis XVI because, among other things, he thought it was morally unjust. Aside from that, Paine’s religious opinions were public knowledge and as a non-Christian sharing his beliefs, especially in his book titled, The Age of Reason, he was disliked by many devout Christians. His religious opinions involved strong morals and integrity, but even so, at his death in 1809, he had only a few people attend his funeral.


Citizenship- A person’s position in a society which represents that individual’s character and gives them certain duties to carry out as a good member of that society. Citizenship to a country represents the expected actions and behaviors of its people, who are supposed to help in any way and full support their country.

Explanation: Thomas Paine, although originally born and raised in England, moved to America in 1774 because of his failures and hardships in England. Because Thomas Paine had moved to America, he was considered a citizen of the nation. He was a man of true citizenship and was a good and helpful person in America, arriving with his views on the upcoming revolution and bettering the country. Because conflict between colonists and the opposing British was so high, Thomas Paine was able to do the new country he belonged to, America, a lot of good. After the battles of Lexington and Concord, he brought to head the idea of revolting against Great Britain entirely in hopes of gaining their full independence. Thomas published “Common Sense," a 50-page book that was so powerful and motivating, that it forced the Americans to fight fully for their freedom from Great Britain. Another great effort from Thomas Paine was when he was in Pennsylvania and he saw that American troops didn’t have enough supplies. He came up with a solution by rallying support where he lived and in France to raise money. With the money he had gathered for the troops, he was very important to the success of the American Revolution. Without his support for his country and staying true to his citizenship, America might not be the same as what it is today.

Thomas Paine - Common Sense