Oldham Historical Research Group

William Rowbottom's Diary as published in the Oldham Standard


Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809

Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809
Author of, 'Rights of Man ... Being an Answer to Mr. Burke's Attaqck on the French Revolution'

From: the Introduction to 'The Great Works of Thomas Paine', published in 1878

"The American Revolution of 1776, of which THOMAS PAINE was the author-hero, was the prelude to that far more sanguinary struggle against oppression and wrong which overturned, or irreparably shook, every throne in Western Europe ; including, in the category, even the chair of St. Peter ; and of which struggle the most prominent author-hero was Jean Jacques Rousseau.

This is generally understood. But a truth incalculably more important has hitherto been either wholly overlooked, or but glimmeringly
perceived ; it is this : Both the American and French Revolutions were but prominent incidents, or crisis-stages, in the irrepressible struggle for human rights which commenced when nature implanted in her highest organism, man, that instinct which points to the goal of development ; that unconquerable desire for perfect and sufficiently-lasting or "eternal" happiness, which indicates the common aim and attainable end of science, of art, and of all natural, materialistic, or intelligible activities : that thirst for liberty which can be satisfied by nothing short of the revolution which will remove all constraint which will accomplish revelation and thus justify Luther, Rousseau, Paine, Fourier, and all other revolutionists. Of this crowning revolution, the text-book is "The Positive Philosophy" of Auguste Comte."


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Gallery pages sourced & created by Sheila Goodyear.
William Rowbottom's Diary as published in the Oldham Standard - Transcribed by Mary Pendlbury & Elaine Sykes
Courtesy of Oldham Local Studies & Archives - Not to be reproduced without permission of Oldham Local Studies & Archives

Header photograph © Copyright David Dixon and licensed for re-use under the C.C. Licence.'Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0'

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