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Thomas Paine - Common Sense

Thomas Paine - Common Sense

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12/28/2012

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Common Sense
Paine, Thomas
Published:
1776
Categorie(s):
Non-Fiction, Political science
Source:
http://gutenberg.org
1
 
About Paine:
Thomas Paine (29 January 1737–8 June 1809) was an English pamph-leteer, revolutionary, radical, inventor, and intellectual. He lived andworked in Britain until age 37, when he emigrated to the British Americ-an colonies, in time to participate in the American Revolution. His prin-cipal contribution was the powerful, widely-read pamphlet, CommonSense (1776), advocating colonial America's independence from theKingdom of Great Britain, and of The American Crisis (1776-1783), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Later, he greatly influenced the FrenchRevolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), a guide to Enlightenmentideas. Despite not speaking French, he was elected to the French Nation-al Convention in 1792. The Girondists regarded him an ally, so, theMontagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him an enemy. InDecember of 1793, he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris, then re-leased in 1794. He became notorious because of The Age of Reason(1793-94), the book advocated deism and argued against Christian doc-trines. In France, he also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), dis-cussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaran-teed minimum income. He remained in France during the early Napo-leonic era, but condemned Napoleon's dictatorship, calling him "thecompletest charlatan that ever existed".[1] In 1802, he returned to Amer-ica at President Thomas Jefferson's invitation. Thomas Paine died, at age72, in No. 59 Grove Street, Greenwich Village, N.Y.C., on 8 June 1809. His burial site is located in New Rochelle, New York where he had livedafter returning to America in 1802. His remains were later disinterred byan admirer looking to return them to England; his final resting placetoday is unknown. Source: Wikipedia
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PERHAPS the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not
yet
sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of notthinking a thing
wrong,
gives it a superficial appearance of being
right,
and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tu-mult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of callingthe right of it in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry)and as the King of England hath undertaken in his
own Right,
to supportthe Parliament in what he calls
Theirs,
and as the good people of thiscountry are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an un-doubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally toreject the usurpations of either.In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided everything which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as cen-sure to individuals make no part thereof. The wise, and the worthy, neednot the triumph of a pamphlet; and those whose sentiments are injudi-cious, or unfriendly, will cease of themselves unless too much pains are bestowed upon their conversion.The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind.Many circumstances have, and will arise, which are not local, but univer-sal, and through which the principles of all Lovers of Mankind are af-fected, and in the Event of which, their Affections are interested. The lay-ing of a Country desolate with Fire and Sword, declaring War againstthe natural rights of all Mankind, and extirpating the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every Man to whom Naturehath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party Cen-sure, isTHE AUTHORP. S. The Publication of this new Edition hath been delayed, with aView of taking notice (had it been necessary) of any Attempt to refute theDoctrine of Independance: As no Answer hath yet appeared, it is nowpresumed that none will, the Time needful for getting such a Perform-ance ready for the Public being considerably past.Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to thePublic, as the Object for Attention is the
Doctrine itself,
not the
Man.
Yet itmay not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party,and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.
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