Thomas Paine us history/Napp Name: Biography: At a Glance – Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense

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Thomas Paine

US History/Napp Name: _________________

At a Glance –

Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense persuaded countless colonists to support American independence. Paine convinced many Americans that the king no longer deserved their loyalty, thus severing their last emotional link to Britain. Paine had an unswerving faith in the human ability to use reason to achieve freedom, peace, and justice.

~ Glencoe American Biographies

For the better part of two decades, Thomas Paine was a world-renowned figure, a master phrasemaker who used the power of his pen to help free people on two continents from despotism. Yet his life presents ample evidence that great talent and achievement do not always lead to happiness and satisfaction.
Born and raised in England, Paine quit school at the age of 13. For the next 24 years he tried a variety of jobs: corsetmaker, sailor, teacher, and tax collector. All made him unhappy. Then, in 1774, Paine met Benjamin Franklin, the American colonial representative to Great Britain. Franklin encouraged Paine to emigrate to the American colonies. Arriving in Philadelphia with Franklin’s letters of introduction, Paine got a job at the Pennsylvania Magazine, but remained almost unknown until January 1776, when his pamphlet Common Sense appeared. Paine’s remarkable publication proved a sensation, selling more than 100,000 copies in three months.

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