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The Age Of Reason By Thomas Paine

Decent Essays
Thomas Paine was an influential 18th-century writer of essays and pamphlets. Among them were "The Age of Reason," regarding the place of religion in society; "Rights of Man," a piece defending the French Revolution; and "Common Sense," which was published during the American Revolution. "Common Sense," Paine 's most influential piece, brought his ideas to a vast audience, swaying (the otherwise undecided) public opinion to the view that independence from the British was a necessity. Thomas Paine was born in England in 1737, to a Quaker father and an Anglican mother. Paine received little formal education, but did learn to read, write and perform arithmetic. At the age of 13, he began working with his father as stay maker (the thick rope stays used on sailing ships) and he later worked as an officer of the excise, hunting smugglers, and collecting liquor and tobacco taxes. He did not excel at this job, nor at any other early job, and his life in England was, in fact, marked by repeated failures. To compound his professional hardships, around 1760, Paine 's wife and child both died in childbirth, and his business, that of making stay ropes, went under. In the summer of 1772, Paine published "The Case of the Officers of Excise," a 21-page article in defense of higher pay for excise officers. It was his first political work, and he spent that winter in London, handing out the 4,000 copies of the article to members of Parliament and other citizens. In spring of 1774, Paine was
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