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Thomas Paine Quotes

Thomas Paine Quotes from his own writings between the years 1776 and 1783, featuring quotes from Common Sense and The American Crisis, two influential writings that greatly influenced the American Revolution. In these Thomas Paine Quotes, Paine discusses such things as the justice of retaliating against an aggressor, the sacrifices required to obtain liberty and the justifications for the war. Paine's early works were widely praised by the other Founding Fathers, but later the same Founding Fathers criticized him sharply for his anti-Christian work The Age of Reason. These Thomas Paine Quotes are listed in chronological order with links to more before and after this period at the bottom.


Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine


Thomas Paine Quotes

"This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe. Hither have they fled, not from the tender embraces of the mother, but from the cruelty of the monster; and it is so far true of England, that the same tyranny which drove the first emigrants from home, pursues their descendants still." - Common Sense, January 10, 1776

"But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain... let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America THE LAW IS KING." - Common Sense, January 10, 1776

"Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'tis time to part." - Common Sense, January 10, 1776

"It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?" - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"'Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them. Britain has trembled like an ague at the report of a French fleet of flat-bottomed boats; and in the fourteenth [sic (actually the fifteenth)] century the whole English army, after ravaging the kingdom of France, was driven back like men petrified with fear; and this brave exploit was performed by a few broken forces collected and headed by a woman, Joan of Arc. Would that heaven might inspire some Jersey maid to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment! Yet panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them, and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstones of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might otherwise have lain forever undiscovered. In fact, they have the same effect on secret traitors, which an imaginary apparition would have upon a private murderer. They sift out the hidden thoughts of man, and hold them up in public to the world. Many a disguised Tory has lately shown his head, that shall penitentially solemnize with curses the day on which Howe arrived upon the Delaware." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

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Thomas Paine Quotes

Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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of Common Sense by
Thomas Paine
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we may obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'tis dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. It would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious, for so unlimited a power can belong only to God." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"I have as little superstition in me as any man living, but my secret opinion has ever been, and still is, that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war, by every decent method which wisdom could invent. Neither have I so much of the infidel in me, as to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

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Thomas Paine Quotes? Read on!

"Panics, in some cases, have their uses; they produce as much good as hurt. Their duration is always short; the mind soon grows through them and acquires a firmer habit than before. But their peculiar advantage is, that they are the touchstone of sincerity and hypocrisy, and bring things and men to light, which might have lain forever undiscovered." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"What we may obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: 'tis dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods." - The American Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

"A bad cause will ever be supported by bad means and bad men." - The American Crisis, No. 2, January 13, 1777

"We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in." - The American Crisis, No. 4, September 11, 1777

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it." - The American Crisis, No. 4, September 11, 1777

"It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same." - The American Crisis, No. 4, September 12, 1777

"It is the object only of war that makes it honorable. And if there was ever a just war since the world began, it is this in which America is now engages." - The American Crisis, No. 5, March 21, 1778

"The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed of the spirit of liberty but not the principle, for at the time they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind." - The American Crisis, No. 5, March 21, 1778

"Character is much easier kept than recovered." - The American Crisis, No. 13, April 19, 1783

"The times that tried men's souls are over-and the greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew, gloriously and happily accomplished." - The American Crisis, No. 13, April 19, 1783


StarIf you liked these Thomas Paine Quotes, you might like to read the complete text of Thomas Paine's Common Sense here.


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