Paine spent 1790s in France and during this time, he became deeply involved in the Revolution. “The Rights of Man” is one of the most important Paine’s works, in which he defends the French Revolution. In 1792, Paine was elected to the French National Convention, although he did not speak French. Robespierre considered Paine an enemy. In 1793, Paine was arrested in Paris, but released in 1794. This was the time when “The Age of Reason” was created. This book promoted freethinking and reason and argued against Christian doctrines.
Paine’s “Common Sense” was published in 1776, anonymously. This pamphlet signed by “an Englishman” had incredible success. Of all books in the U.S. history, this pamphlet had the greatest popularity and largest sale.
Thomas Paine Quotes
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.
The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world, as well as property. The same balance would be preserved were all the world destitute of arms for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside. Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
He who dares not to offend cannot be honest.
Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.
A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.
The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.
My country is the world. My religion is to do good.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
Let them call me a rebel and I welcome it; I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of demons should I make a whore of my soul.
It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.
The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.
It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression.
When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.