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History!

History is often said to be shaped by the actions of individual s; by that aphorism you can rightly conclude that it had its fair share of inter esting individuals. Well this puts me in the beautiful place of selecting a pers on. Doing such a tas is harder than one might see on the surface. I cant spea f or everyone else but for me one individual stic out in the wide crowd of excell ence. Thomas Paine; his name will forever be etched in my heart. An average pers on will never give much thought to his impact. We should remember the great peop les of the past so they don t get engulfed by the unrelenting epochs of history. Why should we remember Tom Paine you say? We should honor his name because of h is ideals, impact and his innovation. Paine s driving -mechanisms were his own t enacity, innovative,passion and determination. Perhaps we study him so it might ignite our sense of tenacity, innovative,passion and determination. This radical journalist s actions has shaped our very existence. Tom Paine is one such individual that everyone seems now the name of but lac s ufficient information of him. Who was he? Thomas Paine is the unsung hero of the revolution, the oddball founding father, the firebrand, the agitator,the rebel, the freethin er, the reformer, the writer. So Tom was many things but one other major thing he was a product of the Enlightenment which in its self was a bypro duct of the Renaissance. A man of humble origins compared to many of the aristocra tic founding fathers. No one could ever calculate that this man hailing from Thetf ord, England the son of a poor Qua er would have profound effects on history and liberty. The first saga of Paines life would seem nothing but a series of failur es to an observer with no nowledge of Paines impending fame. For Paine life woul d always a large struggle from start to end with very few brea s in between; the man who would melt the shac les of tyranny in the 13th colonies was born on January 29, 1737 in Thetford, Norfol , England to Joseph Paine and Frances Paine. Both of his parentss differing religious denominations ( Paines mother was an Anglican) played a vital role in the ma ing of his character, it most li ely installed re ligious s epticism in him. From onset Paines destiny loo s determined to follow t he footsteps of his father to be a stayma er for life after all in those times t here was hardly any opportunities for the common fol s. Tom attended school a sh ort while; he was forced to drop out due to familys poor income. This would be on ly formal education he would ever received in his life. Paine in England to put it bluntly was a loser; name a failure that a person goes through more than li ely P aine had it. The jobs Paine too up ranged from Tax collector to privateer, he e ither quit or was fired. Success in his personal life was almost a mirror image of the miserable nonexistent success in his career fields. His two marriages did nt bring much comfort, the first one was to Mary Lambert who died in childbirth w hile the second one was to Elizabeth Ollive which ended in divorce. Finally Pain es awa ening was arriving; the person who will change the course of Paines Life wa s the legendary Ben Fran lin. Ben give Paine a letter of recommendation to head to the Americas; buoyed by this and fueled by the failures in his life he voyage d towards to the new world for a new beginning. Paines crossing to the New Word almost deprived him of his life; events i n Paines life seem to show that death loves to brush up against Paine. Paine bega n writing Common Sense the legendary pamphlet that will seal Paines name forever with the American Independence. Common Sense spread li e the most incendiary, co mbustible, contagious fire, its word implanted ideas of independence li e never seen before, it ultimately burned off the shac les of the British Monarchy, it g ives us liberty and without Common Sense history of liberty can not be written.A ll of the economic success gained from Common Sense Tom donated to the fledgling Continental Army. Thomas Paine was the main catalyst to the Declaration of Inde pendence without him no such document would exist. Before you start thin ing Pai nes contributions cease there; Paine did much as he could for a man in his positi on. An another contribution is virtually impossible to overloo is an another pa mphlet no shoc there Paines most powerful weapon is his pen. If the pamphlet Com

mon Sense was li e fire then the pamphlet Crisis is li e lightning. Crisis reinv igorate the American forces, it aroused hope bac to life, it gave us victories in the dar est days of the revolution, it words has entered the American Patriot ism lexicon. The pen of Thomas Paine will always be lin ed to the American Revol ution.Thus having made a name for himself Paines craving for successful was fulfi lled. The events of the American Revolution were ushering in a new era; an era of revo lution. And Thomas Paine will be in the epicenter of the greatest of the Atlanti c Revolutions. Paine ventured bac to his native England to start an ill-fated i ron bridge project. The boiling point of the enlightenment was arriving the Fren ch Revolution. Intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic were fixed on the Fre nch Revolution; many saw it as the salvation to a better world. But as longer th e revolution went on opinions were driven farther apart. Edmund Bur e a well no wn Irish-British statesman delivered a powerful pamphlet called Reflections on t he Revolution in France denouncing the French Revolution. Paine still focused on his iron bridge project abandoned it after having read Edmund Bur e s Reflectio ns on the Revolution in France he was forced to write his counterblast Rights of Man. Rights of Man is considered to be his best wor it was a powerful counter argument to Edmund s wor . In fact many of its idea rendered the monarchy and ar istocracy useless. Paine always sold his wor at the lowest possible price in ho pes ma ing his wor more accessible to a wider audience. It bought ideas to the common people ideas against the British Monarchy; it shoo the foundation there. Not long after the British government began a crac down on radicals inspired fr om the French Revolution. Paine s open support for the French Revolution was ma ing him a target for authorities, he quic ly fled England on the advice from a f riend; If Thomas Paine was captured he would be hanged on the charges of treason . Thrusted into this he too a ship towards Revolutionary France. Once having reach France he was greeted as a hero of man ind; furthermore he was even made a member of the Revolutionary French National Convention despite not spea ing a word of French. In Paris Paine found his life in danger just li e Eng land because he argued against the execution of the Louis XVI. Paine s fear prom pted him to initiated his most daunting, bold wor and ultimately the boo that led him to his downfall The Age of Reason. The Age of Reason was Thomas Paine s polemic against organized religion and more specifically a harsh, ridiculing cri tique of Christianity. Well it turns out Paine s fear was right, he was imprison ed en the Luxembourg Prison. Luc was on Paine s side, Robespierre s death allow ed him to escape the blade of the national razor. Tom was bac on the Convention although he didn t have any real influence on the upcoming events. After living in France for about 10 years Paine head bac towards his beloved adopted countr y America under Thomas Jefferson s personal invitation. Thomas Paine was 65 years old when he arrived bac in America; it is easy to thi n he was longing for a quiet retirement for the rest of his life. Sadly this is n t the case, Paine s Age of Reason had made him into an incredibly unpopular ma n. Where ever he went he was shunned, ridiculed, regarded with extreme disgust b y nearly everyone. Thomas Paine found out none of his former friends wanted noth ing with him. This pushed Tom farther into isolation and depression; Paine s hea lth began to decline; On June 8 1809 The Father of the American Revolution died all alone. Only 6 people bother to come to Poor Tom Paine s funeral, the young m an from Thetford had come a long way. He fundamentally changed the world through his writings, he bought politics to the common men, he also bought religious s epticism to the common man,he opposed slavery before it was popular, he was a fr eethin er before it was popular, he fought for women s rights before it was popu lar, he thought a world peace organization before anyone else, he argued for a g uaranteed minimum income when no else did , he wanted animal rights, he also wan ted public education, he invented the smo eless candle and also helped with the steam engine, he opposed the death penalty because he cared for all life. Thomas Paine s life is an example of a selfless man, the one who lived for man ind. Th omas Paine was a hero.