January 29 is Thomas Paine Day, which is a time to remember one of the most important, but often forgotten, writers of the American Revolution. His pamphlet Common Sense was one of the main reasons that the majority of colonists came to support the revolution against England and for independence.
He was born and raised in Britain, and he became embroiled in legal problems for advocating the abolition of royalty. Afterwards, he would support the French Revolution, and he also ran into problems there, only to be imprisoned. He was later released because of influence by the American government.
He was a revolutionary thinker and a representative of the Romantic movement, in which individual rights and revolution in all aspects of life and society were encouraged.
Paine went on to write several other important works, including Rights Of Man and The Age of Reason. If you have not read these works, I recommend all of them!
Like many of the other intellectuals of this time, Paine was a Deist and let his ideas be known. As a result of his forthcoming, he suffered being ostracized by many of those whom he had helped.
He should be remembered, however, for his contributions to the United States of America, to human rights, and to literature.