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Making History: Thomas Paine

16:18

5 Make Hist Paine

On the 200th anniversary of his death, this programme examines the role and legacy of Thomas Paine, founding father of the American Revolution. Born in Norfolk, the son of a Quaker corset maker, Paine went on to become one of the most influential men in history. Planting the seeds of revolution in the minds of Americans, farmers and intellectuals alike, Paine created prose that stirred the hearts of the fledgling United States and quickly became known as the voice of the common man. With a direct call to all Americans in 1776 to fight against British colonial rule and gain independence, the 18th century revolutionary had a grand vision for society and a deep-seated belief in human freedom and integrity. Paine’s ideas continue to inspire, not least his belief that “we have it in our power to begin the world over again”.

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Related topics: Democracy, History, International

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Edward J. Dodson said:

Thank you for this treatment of Paine’s contribution to the cause of human progress. One intriguing but unresolved matter regarding Paine’s arrival in North America was whether he might have been recruited by Benjamin Franklin to deliver information in person to colonial leaders that Franklin could not put in writing without the great risk of discovery and possible trial for sedition in Britain.

The memory of Paine’s greatness is not forgotten, although many of us feel he deserves a much more prominent place in the history books than has been the case to date.

Edward J. Dodson, President
Thomas Paine Friends, Inc.

Thomas Paine | Humanist Heritage said:

[…] Video lecture on Paine […]

Kenneth W. Burchell said:

Congratulations on an accurate and even inspiring presentation on Thomas Paine, mankind’s friend and the greatest revolutionary of them all. Cheryl Hudson’s treatment was spot on in almost every regard. I might quibble a bit on the “failed at everything” trope: after all, his excise pamphlet was very successful, his last voyage as a freebooter gave him enough money to move to London, he personally studied with James Fergusan (astronomy and geography) and attended the lectures of Benjamin Martin and others, and gained the friendship of George Lewis, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Goldsmith and many others. All in all, though, the presentation was nicely done and unusually accurate.