Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)

Nash, David. “The Gain from Thomas Paine.”

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Nash, David. “The Gain from Thomas Paine.” History Today (2009): 12-18. (7)
Following the interesting dynamic between religion and the state, David Nash’s piece, “The Gain from Thomas Paine”, highlights the life of Thomas Paine, social theorist, author, and revolutionary, though perhaps not obvious to all. Writing Age of Reason, Rights of Man, among others, Paine “anticipated modern ideas on human rights, atheism, and rationalism”.17 After his pamphlet, Common Sense, premiered in 1776 Paine joined the colonists fight, eventually taking place in the revolutionists of France becoming elected to the National Convention. Despite his seat as an elected to revolution Paine held strongly to his unique views, in example advocating for the trial of Louis XIV but speaking out against his execution, a view perhaps rather unpopular during the time. Another rather controversial idea that Paine coined was the concept of rationalism, stemming from the idea that “facts [appear] implausible and textual consistency they would require of they were [true] is lacking”.18 He most famously applied this reasoning to the work of the Bible, explaining that “a moral God who had created the universe as it was bore no relation to the God portrayed in the Bible”.19 Nash’s piece takes into account the life of Thomas Paine by highlighting the idea that the other pieces in this unit have brought up – that American history is not clean in the atrocities it has committed against outside groups, but also within its own.

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