Thomas Paine

Jack Sullivan, Nick Mcintosh, Mike Breton

Fueling the Fire of Revolution

Thomas Paine was born on January 29, 1737 to Quaker Joseph Paine and Anglican Frances née Cocke in rural Norfolk, England, and had no known siblings. After leading a rocky career covering various fields, he ultimately emigrated from London to Philadelphia in 1774, shortly after divorcing his wife and meeting Benjamin Franklin, who wrote a letter of recommendation for Paine before he set off for the colonies.

Thomas Paine wrote common sense on January 1st 1776 to encourage all the colonies to seek out independence thous helping out the revolution. The book also talked about how unfair the British treated the people of the colonies. In about three months 100,000 copies were distributed throughout British-America colonies. Common sense intrigued many people by having them have to look to the future and make an immediate choice. Paine's writing of common sense was written with intelligent ideas but for average readers unlike his learned formal style of writing. The ideas in Paine's book helped spark public debate on the revolution. The book mainly spoke about how declaring independence would affect the war.

Thomas Paine's views in common sense were an early democratic peace theory. (Democracies are hesitant to get into armed conflict with other democracies).


Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Thomas Paine appeared to hold honesty in the highest regard; to quote one of his statements in The Forrester Letters written in 1776, "He who dares not offend cannot be honest." Indeed, his other writings that stirred the hearts of revolutionary Americans did not spread lies regarding the benefits of rebelling against England, but rather presented the facts of why America would do well to earn its independence. For example, one quote from "Common Sense" reads: "Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe." Paine's integrity is further supported by the fact that he originally published "Common Sense", his most famous work, anonymously, demonstrating that his goal truly was to unite the colonists against England and not to earn personal fame.


Citizenship is essentially the state of being a citizen of a country or nation, and in addition, being bound to the duties and responsibilities expected of a citizen. The responsibilities of a good citizen aren't always necessarily blind adherance to the government's demands, however; a true citizen does what he or she perceives to be in the best interests of the country's future and that of its population, even if it means rejecting an unfair and oppressive government. Thomas Paine once said, "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." This was a philosophy that Paine truly lived by writing "Common Sense" and riling up his fellow citizens; he knew that America deserved to be independent from English rule, and encouraged those around him to fight for the freedoms that they had struggled so long to earn.