Thomas Paine

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  • Thomas Paine was born on February 9, 1737 in Thetford, Norfolk, England to a Quaker father and a Anglican mother.
  • Growing up, Paine got little to no formal education.  However, he learned how to read, and write. He tried many jobs but hit several hardships and did not excel at any early jobs . His life in England was a series of repeated failures.
  • Despite his difficulty early on, after Thomas moved to America he wrote a pamphlet called Common Sense. It sold more than 500,000 copies within a few months and paved the way for the Declaration of Independence. 
  • Some of Paine's most famous works included, Rights of Man, about the French Revolution and republican principles and The Age of Reason, explaining the place of religion in society. 
  • Thomas Paine's ideas reflected Enlightenment rhetoric of transnational human rights. He believed in the study of nature, Providence, and the belief in natural rights and that men and women owed it to themselves to break the chain of rank. 
  • Paine died on June 8, 1809 in New York and left a legacy of one of the greatest political propagandist and promoters of Human Rights in history. 
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