Thomas Paine was, without a doubt, a gifted writer. His greatest acclaim is his widely read pamphlet Common Sense, which advocated colonial independence from Great Britain. He influenced both the American and French Revolution. Despite having many of the same views and being as influential of many of the Founding Fathers, Paine himself is not considered a Founding Father. It was his radical religious views that brought his downfall. Ordinary people do not take it lightly when they are deemed “unforgiveable.” “Roosevelt’s titled him that “’filthy little atheist,’” and the name stuck, despite the fact that Paine was not an atheist. Even though other elites shared the same view, Paine was antagonized because he was the only one that openly spoke about it. Wood argues that Paine is overlooked because he spoke out, and he thinks Paine should be considered a Founding Father because of his actions, saying we “have tended to ignore him.” I don’t think we have ignored Paine completely; he still appears in our history textbook today. Paine is mainly remembered for his writing, not for his radical religious views and not for being a Founding Father.
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