Common Sense, American Crisis by Thomas Paine

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Few writers were as influential and widely read as Thomas Paine during his lifetime, and yet only six people were reported to attend his funeral.1 He provoked strong opinions, whether involving love, hate, or more likely both, throughout his lifetime. Paine wrote Common Sense, American Crisis, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason, all with a specific purpose depending on the political atmosphere at the given time. He has affected the life of every human being since the publishing of his works.
On January 29, 1737 the great pamphleteer was born in Norfolk, England. Paine was a Deist, although his Father was a Quaker and Mother was an Anglican. Joseph Paine, his father, was a stay maker and it was tradition that Thomas would apprentice with him and eventually run the business. He did apprentice for a short time during his teen years before running away and enlisting as a privateer on the King of Prussia.2 In 1759 he made his way back to Britain and set up a stay making shop. Then at twenty-two he was married to Mary Lambert. Tragically one year later during childbirth Mary and the child passed away.3
Mary’s father helped Paine land a job as an excise officer. However three years later Paine was fired for not inspecting goods and giving certificates stating that he had. After he was sacked he wrote a letter apologizing and successfully requesting his job back. He had a brief stint as a schoolteacher in London while he was waiting for a posting he eventually received for Lewes. He remarried to Elizabeth Ollive, however a little more than a year later he was divorced and without a job once again.4 Nothing seemed to be working out for Paine in Britain, and after moving to London he was introduced to Benjamin Franklin. Franklin convinc...

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Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason. Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1974. Print.
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Paine, Thomas. The Rights of Man. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, 1999. Print.
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