Thomas Paine, Rights of Man and the abolition of Slavery

Thomas Paine was an influential 18th-century writer and philosopher, best known for his political writings advocating for the American Revolution and the rights of man. Paine was born in England in 1737 and emigrated to the American colonies in 1774, where he wrote his most famous work, “Common Sense,” a political pamphlet that played a major role in the American Revolution.

In 1791, Paine published “Rights of Man,” a response to Edmund Burke’s critique of the French Revolution. In this work, Paine argued for the rights of man and the principles of democracy and equality, which he believed were universal. He also advocated for the abolition of slavery and the treatment of all individuals with dignity and respect, regardless of their race or social status.

One of the most famous quotes from “Rights of Man” is, “Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.” This quote speaks to Paine’s belief in the importance of protecting the rights of individuals and the need for a just and equal society.

In addition to his political writings, Paine was also a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery. He believed that slavery was a stain on humanity and a violation of the principles of equality and justice. He argued that the only way to achieve true freedom and equality was to abolish the practice of slavery.
Paine was a major influence to Belfast abolitionists.

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