Students of American history know Thomas Paine as the writer who stirred the Revolutionary cause with his pamphlet, “Common Sense.”
After the revolution Paine remained an idealist and a believer in worldwide revolution against monarchs. He became involved in the French Revolution and became a member of one of the revolutionary assemblies. He argued against beheading King Louis XVI, alienated his allies, and became himself condemned to the guillotine before being saved by the American ambassador.
He was one of the few Revolutionary War participants convicted of treason for his pamphlet urging the British to overthrow King George III.
He died in poverty, reviled for his anti-Christian views.
from The Intellectual Devotional- American History by David Kidder and Noah Oppenheim