Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737-June 8, 1809) was a British-American political activist, writer, and revolutionary. He authored Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis (1776-83), two highly influential pamphlets that advocated colonial America's independence from Great Britain. Paine later injected himself into the French Revolution when he wrote The Rights of Man (1791), which defended the French citizens against its critics. After being imprisoned by the Montagnards of the French National Convention, he began writing The Age of Reason (1793-94), his statement on deism. Because of the furor caused by The Age of Reason, all his other accomplishments were completely overshadowed. As a result, he died in poverty and obscurity.