What was Thomas Paine's role in the movement for independence?
Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was a leading figure in the American Revolution. Paine was born in England but moved to America on the encouragement of Benjamin Franklin, whom he met in London, and began immediately promoting the cause of independence. He wrote several books which encouraged American liberty, of which the most famous was 'Common Sense', published in 1776. He also served in the army and held numerous governmental posts, most notably in foreign affairs and for the Assembly of Pennsylvania.
Paine also wrote some of the most famous words from the Revolutionary Wars in which encouraged soldiers to keep fighting the British: "These are the times that try men's soul's. 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 women."