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Thomas Paine Caricature
Photograph - Photograph
Caricature of Thomas Paine "taking the measure of the Crown for a new Pair of Revolution Breeches." In 1787 Edmund Burke wrote a attack against the people's movement entitled "Reflections on the Revolution in France." Thomas Paine retaliated with a book entitled "The Rights of Man," considered to be one of the finest statements of eighteenth century democratic philosophy ever formulated. In England The Rights of Man encountered a response like no other in English publishing history. It became an underground manifesto, passed from hand to hand, even when it became a crime to be found with it in one's possession. It became a bible to thousands of citizens who dreamed of a free England. Time after time, when men were tried for treason, invariably the Crown offered as evidence to the jury the fact that these men possessed a copy of The Rights of Man. Outlawed for treason, Paine fled to France in 1792, never to return to England again.
May 30th, 2013
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