Thomas Paine

By: Lindsey Maeshima and Satvik Vasireddy

"The Father of the American Revolution"

Family History:

  • Born on January 29, 1737 in Thetford, Norfolk which is in England and is an important market town

  • Father was Joseph Paine and Mother was Frances Cocke

  • Attended Thetford Grammar School when learning wasn’t mandatory

  • On September 27, 1765 got wed to Mary Lambert who died in pregnancy along with the child, he later married Elizabeth Ollive

Political affiliations/loyalties with explanation of view:

  • Paine’s political view is shown in his pamphlet Common Sense with his ideas of pro independence

  • Common Sense contributed to the spread of republicanism

  • Paine’s inclination towards independence led to the term known as a patriot

Thomas Paine - Common Sense

Contribution to/participation in colonial development/colonial independence

  • Due to Paine’s great contribution to colonial independence by writing the galvanizing pamphlet, Common Sense, he was named “The Father of the American Revolution”

  • The reason why Common Sense was so influential was because the pamphlet is written in a way that forces the reader to feel that it was a necessity for America to separate from Great Britain and was written with biblical references so the common person could understand and contribute to the cause.

  • The solution outlined in Common Sense was to increase recruitment in the Continental Army to aid in what would be known as the American Revolution

  • Common Sense was so popular in the United States that in the first few months it sold more than 500,000 copies

  • His pamphlet led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence later in the year.

  • He also wrote The American Crisis pamphlet series in the later part of 1776. He successfully inspired Americans to keep fighting in the revolution after urging Americans to fight in Common Sense.


Integrity is defined as a "firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values"


Paine expresses his ideas through the use of a pamphlet, not by using violence and hurting others to assert his opinion. Thus, he maintains his own moral standards of right and wrong from a colonial American standpoint even though the British don’t agree with him which shows his integrity.

Paine, being a radical at the time, wrote Common Sense without fearing any backlash from the public or the Britain Crown. Since he adhered to his firm beliefs about independence without fear, he is considered to have exhibited integrity.


Citizenship is defined as “the status of being a citizen”

Citizen is defined as “a native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it”

Thomas Paine is technically a British citizen because the US has not gained full independence yet. He doesn’t exhibit this citizenship in any way because he renounces Britain’s rule in his pamphlet and wants to cut off allegiance and ties to Britain which are not characteristics of a citizen.

According to the definition, a citizen is protected by the government. However, Britain merely oppressed and heavily taxed citizens like Paine and other colonists instead of protecting them. Paine notes in Common Sense that Britain would make colonists enter British wars at the expense of the colonists. The colonists including Paine aren't protected, so Paine and his fellow colonists don'y actually show citizenship because Britain inadvertently takes it away from them.