What are some similarities between Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson?
Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson were two notable figures of the American Revolution. Though Paine was a little bit older than Jefferson and had been born and raised in England, the two had very similar political attitudes and intellectual aspirations.
Both Paine and Jefferson were writers and were heavily influenced by Enlightenment philosophies. In fact, Paine's Common Sense, which advocated for the establishment of an independent America, laid the way for Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. Both believed that it was unjust for the American colonies to be exploited for taxes and resources for the benefit of the British monarchy.
Both were also heavily involved in the relationship growing between the newly established United States and the nation of France. After the American Revolution, Paine lived in France and published many papers on the political upheaval now going on there. Jefferson, too, spent time in France, but was more focused on establishing trade between the two nations rather than become involved in the French Revolution.
Outside of their political work, Paine and Jefferson shared some similar qualities. Both were rather ambiguously religious, having been born into the Anglican tradition but being accused of atheism later in life. Rather than being staunch believers one way or the other, both were keenly aware of the role religion played in society and questioned the ways in which it might be used to overpower the people. Both were also awarded some amount of status for the fact that they were educated, white men of English descent.