Portrait of Thomas Paine

Tom Paine on the “birthday of a new world” (1776)

Found in: The Writings of Thomas Paine, Vol. I (1774-1779)

On the 10th anniversary of the day the Online Library of Liberty went public for the first time, we celebrated that fact and found a quotation by the great advocate of liberty and independence Thomas Paine (1737-1809) who, in the Appendix to Common Sense, wrote about the “birthday of a new world”:


We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the events of a few months. The reflection is awful, and in this point of view, how trifling, how ridiculous, do the little paltry cavilings of a few weak or interested men appear, when weighed against the business of a world.