... The most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era ... from biography.com
Thomas Paine was born in England in 1737. He wrote his first pamphlet, “The Case of the Officers of Excise” in the spring of 1774. He spent his days after the completion of the pamphlet handing out “4,000 copies to members of parliament and other citizens.” Paine moved to America in November, 1774.
Paine’s first pamphlet after arriving in America was “a condemnation of the slave trade, called ‘African Slavery in America’.” His strong views of right and wrong were coming together and his most important writings yet to come.
In the spring of 1775, the battles of Lexington and Concord were fought and in January, 1776, “Common Sense” was printed. Common Sense was a “cogent argument” presenting to America a persuasive justification for independence from Great Britain.
… while it likely had little effect on the actual writing of the Declaration of Independence, “Common Sense” forced the issue on the streets, making the colonists see that a grave issue was upon them and that a public discussion was direly needed. Once it initiated debate, the article offered a solution for Americans who were disgusted and alarmed at the presence of tyranny in their new land, and it was passed around and read aloud often, bolstering enthusiasm for independence …
Headlines like this should ignite the Thomas Paine in all of us. We ALL should be writing digital pamphlets and be prepared to stand in the streets to distribute to every man and woman the truth that Donald Trump is a modern day King George and should be dealt with accordingly. The way all tyrants are.
During the war Thomas Paine served with General Nathanael Greene. Thomas Paine was 40 years old and while with the army he wrote what is now referred to as “The Crisis Papers.” The first paper written December 1776 begins with these words: “THESE are the times that try men’s souls.” Words that every American knows. They may not know that Thomas Paine wrote the words, but every America knows the words. Eight words as well knowN as the words of John Paul Jones: “Don’t give up the ship.” Or the words of Abraham Lincoln: “Four score and seven years ago…”
These words should inspire all Americans to pick up their pens, flip on their computers, and when they see words that suggest that Donald Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship, write words and phrases that will be remembered a hundred years from now.
Thomas Paine’s words were so strong, capturing the essence of the moment, so much so that George Washington ordered the 16 Crisis Pamphlets be read to All the American soldiers at Valley Forge. Hoping the words would ignite in the Americans assembled the WILL to fight the tyrant, King George.
Apparently Thomas Paine’s words worked. The pen is as mighty as the sword.
Thomas Paine, the haves and the havenots… not much has changed in 200 years… Thomas Paine wrote against the 1 percent and the 1 percent is still with us today.
In 1793, Robespierre took power, Thomas Paine was imprisoned for almost a year. While in prison, “the first part of his The Age of Reason (The Age of Reason: Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology in full) was published.” The Age of Reason was not received well by the English and much of religion in Europe. Thomas Paine remained in France until Part 2 and Part 3 of The Age of Reason were published, eventually returning to America at the invitation of Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas Paine was forgotten. He died in June 1809. His age was 72.
Thomas Paine died a rabble-rouser, challenging the status quo and the reality that currently is, exposing that reality for what it is. He was placed in prison. He was forgotten, at his funeral, only 6 people showed up.
It took more than a hundred years for his reputation to recover.
Whenever I post something to my WordPress page or to a Facebook group that might expose, shine a light, or simply force someone to see reality in a different light, I become briefly a rabble-rouser, and I run the risk of being “placed in prison” with a facebook mute, a censor or being removed completely from a group, I stand for a very brief moment in the shadow of Thomas Paine.
And in these times that try men’s souls, we need more Americans like Thomas Paine…
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