By Bernard Vincent
This selection of essays by means of Bernard Vincent covers so much points of Thomas Paine’s lifestyles, proposal, and works. It highlights Paine’s contribution to the yank and French Revolutions, in addition to the lively position he performed within the highbrow debates of the Age of Enlightenment, particularly via his heated arguments with Edmund Burke or the Abb? Raynal. greater than centuries later, these debates—on the ‘universal’ nature of human rights or the ‘exceptionalism’ of the yankee experience—seem at the present time to be extra proper than ever. not just have good judgment, Rights of guy and The Age of cause turn into classics of Anglo-American literature, yet, from the instant they seemed, they ushered in a brand new kind of author, a brand new approach of writing—and a brand new classification of readers. How Paine stormed the "Bastille of Words," and in so doing served either the "republic" of letters and the reason for democracy, is the genuine topic of this ebook.
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Extra info for The Transatlantic Republican: Thomas Paine and the Age of Revolutions (Amsterdam Monographs in American Studies 12)
Livingston, whom Heaton does not mention, ended up his Masonic career as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York. David Rittenhouse is identified as a Mason in N. S. Barrett & J. F. Sachse, Freemasonry in Pennsylvania, 1727-1907, as shown in the Records of Lodge No. 2 (Philadelphia, 1908-1919), 2: 85. ” 37 Masonic membership of French officers in America is to be found in Gilbert Bodinier, Dictionnaire des officiers de I’armée royale qui ont combattu aux ÉtatsUnis pendant la Guerre d’Indépendance (Vincennes: Services historiques de I’Armée de Terre, 1982).
Rights of Man will go further than Common Sense in this respect. There, in addition to the wiping out of the past, Paine will refer to the utter newness of America, and to the pioneer virginity of a continent set, so to speak, in times prior to time: “The case and circumstances of America present themselves as in the beginning of a world . . We are brought at once to the point of seeing government begin, as if we had lived in the beginning of time. The real volume, not of history, but of facts, is directly before us, unmutilated by contrivance, or the errors of tradition” (RM, 207).
4 And who were to become his friends in revolutionary France? Danton, Condorcet, Lafayette, Sieyès, Brissot, La Rochefoucauld, Duchâtelet, all Masons. And where did he stay after his release from prison in Paris? First with Nicolas de Bonneville and then with James Monroe, both of them well known as Freemasons. Paine’s interest in Freemasonry was such that toward the end of his life, in 1805, he wrote a lengthy piece entitled An Essay on the Origin of Freemasonry,5 in which he traces back the birth of Masonry to the ancient rituals of druidism.
The Transatlantic Republican: Thomas Paine and the Age of Revolutions (Amsterdam Monographs in American Studies 12) by Bernard Vincent