Saturday, August 16, 2008

Thomas Paine: Hero, patriot... and a Paine in the butt!

From Bathroom Reader Plunges Into History Again via Neatorama:

On January 10, 1776, Paine published Common Sense, a 50-page pamphlet that laid out the case for American independence in no uncertain terms. It was an immediate sensation, with 500,000 copies sold. Common Sense heavily influenced Thomas Jefferson's writing of the Declaration of Independence, published on July 4, 1776, just six months later.
But after having written the script for the American Revolution, Paine found that his services were no longer required. He was given a number of minor political posts by the Continental Congress during the war, but just to keep him out of the way. Wealthy, politically ambitious Brahmins like John Jay and John Adams were not prepared to give a loose cannon like Paine any responsibility.

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