Thomas Paine was an author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Born in England, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely-read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), advocating colonial America’s independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Later, Paine greatly influenced the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), a guide to Enlightenment ideas.