Thomas Paine

By: Maggie Davis and Rachel Robertson

No Paine, No Gain.

The life of a political philosopher:

Thomas Paine was born January 29, 1737 in Thetford, England. After obtaining a basic education, Paine went to work. Paine never became successful through his occupation, but in 1774 he met Benjamin Franklin in London, who advised him to move to America, supplying him with letters of recommendation. When Paine came to America he started over as a publicist, and that's where it all began.

Thomas Paine's writings inspired passion, but also led to much criticism. Paine communicated profound ideas, which aided colonists and revolutionaries alike, and was one of the first to be in favor of world peace.

Thomas Paine believed that a republican form of government was better than a monarchy, so in 1776, he published the pamphlet "Common Sense" to persuade the citizens of the colonies to break away from British rule. Over 100,00 copies were sold, and it helped convince people to fight for independence from Britain. He later wrote "The American Crisis" to raise the moral of Washington's army.


Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Thomas Paine was a man of integrity. He believed that people should have equal rights, and that people should run the government, not the other way around. He wrote "Common Sense" with this in mind, to communicate his beliefs to the people living in the colonies. His writings helped in convincing people to fight for their independence so that these beliefs could be put into place. "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion," Paine says, describing to us how he has a sense of pride towards his country as well as mankind, being honest about his views, thus proving his integrity.


Citizenship is the character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen. Thomas Paine proved to have citizenship when he wrote "African Slavery in America," criticizing slavery in America as being unjust and inhumane. His writing of this book proved his level of citizenship by his will for ALL people to become citizens and be treated equally as such. Paine also proved his citizenship when writing "Common Sense," due to the fact that he wrote it to aid his fellow citizens, influencing to think for themselves and not let their government tell them what to do.