Historical Period: The 18th Century
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was a vigorous defender of and participant in both the American and French Revolutions. His most famous work is Common Sense (1776) which was an early call for the independence of the American colonies from Britain. His other well known work is The Rights of Man (1791) which was a reply to Burke’s critique of the French Revolution.
Quotes from Thomas Paine:
- Thomas Paine on the absurdity of an hereditary monarchy
- Thomas Paine on the idea that the law is king
- Thomas Paine responded to one of Burke’s critiques of the French Revolution by cynically arguing that wars are sometimes started in order to increase taxation
- Thomas Paine on the “Decline and Fall of the English System of Finance”
- Thomas Paine asks how it is that established governments came into being, his answer, is “banditti of ruffians” seized control and turned themselves into monarchs
- During the American Revolution, Thomas Paine penned a patriotic song called “Hail Great Republic” which is to be sung to the tune of Rule Britannia (of course!)
Titles from Thomas Paine:
- Author: The Rights of Man Part I (1791 ed.)
- Author: The Writings of Thomas Paine, 4 vols.
- Author: The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. I (1774-1779)
- Author: The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. II (1779-1792)
- Author: The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. III (1791-1804)
- Author: The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. IV (1791-1804)