chapter  2
Tom Paine
Pages 8

Leaving England in 1774 at the age of thirty-seven, Tom Paine came to America and became a radical. Invigorated by the society he discovered and inspired by the great possibilities he recognized within it, Paine wrote a pamphlet, Common Sense, which succeeded in redefining American struggles against British imperial rule as a war for national independence and political revolution and, moreover, as the fundamental act of a world revolution against the tyranny and corruption of the old regimes of Europe. As Paine himself declaimed in words which fired the imagination of his fellow citizens-to-be: "We have it in our power to begin the world over again."