This book investigates Thomas Paine's social and political thought in both its British and American moments. It examines the ways in which Paine's ideas were understood. The book restores him to the position his contemporaries accorded him, that of an important writer on politics and society.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements -- Chronology -- Introduction The age of Paine -- The problem of Thomas Paine -- British radical traditions, 1688-1789 -- Natural rights and natural law -- The emergence of the reform movement -- 1 'Apostle of liberty': the life of Thomas Paine -- 2 'The cause of all mankind': Paine and the American revolution -- Colonial radicalism, 1765-76 -- Independence sounded: Common Sense (1776) -- Interpreting Common Sense -- The Tories respond -- Paine at war: The American Crisis (1776-83) -- American independence as a democratic revolution -- 3 Republicanism contested: Burke's Reflections (1790) and the Rights of Man (1791-92) -- Radicalism and Dissent, 1788-90 -- The 'manifesto of a counter-revolution': Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) -- Early responses to Burke (1790-92) -- Exporting America: the Rights of Man. Being an Answer to Mr. Burke's Attack on the French Revolution (February 1791) -- Towards social justice: the Rights of Man, Part Second. Combining Principle and Practice (1792) -- 4 Paine's achievement -- Constitutionalism, conventions and republicanism -- Natural rights and natural law -- Commerce, wealth and equality -- Quakerism and the millennium -- Paine's language and appeal -- 5 A great awakening: the birth of the Revolutionary Party -- 'The whiskey of infidelity and treason': the Rights of Man and popular politics -- How Paine was read -- 'All change at Hounslow': middle-class radicalism and the Painites -- Critics from the left -- 6 Inequality vindicated: the government party -- Painophobia unleashed: governmental and loyalist reaction -- Scurrilous abuse -- Arguments against the Rights of Man: property and civilization -- Natural rights and the state of nature -- The Painite counterattack -- Religion and revolution -- 7 Revolution in heaven: The Age of Reason (1794-95) -- Introduction -- Deism in the eighteenth century -- The Age of Reason -- The reception of The Age of Reason -- Conclusion -- 8 Revolution in civilization: Agrarian Justice (1797) -- Agrarian Justice: natural jurisprudence secularized -- Deism and the Creation -- The reception of Agrarian Justice -- Conclusion Political saint: the legend of Thomas Paine -- Paine's reputation -- The emergence of social radicalism -- The modernity of Thomas Paine -- Bibliography -- Index
Gregory Claeys is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri.