94 Best Thomas Paine Quotes on Freedom and Government

Born in Thetford, England in 1737, Thomas Paine emerged as an influential figure in the American Revolution after emigrating to Philadelphia in 1774.

Initially working as a publicist and co-editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine, Paine openly criticized slavery, sensing the rising tension in the colonies.

He formulated his arguments for American independence in his impactful pamphlet “Common Sense,” published in 1776, where he proposed that independence was inevitable and government should be simple and representative.


During the War of Independence, Paine contributed as a volunteer in the Continental Army, wrote sixteen influential American Crisis papers and served as Secretary of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in Congress.

Post-war, Paine traveled to England and became deeply involved in the French Revolution, defending it in his work “Rights of Man”.

Related: Frederick Douglass Quotes on Progress & Freedom and Corrie Ten Boom Quotes on Freedom, Faith and Forgiveness

Paine returned to America in 1802, continuing his critique of society until his death in 1809.

Despite initial controversy, Paine’s role as a catalyst for revolution and advocate for freedom and representation are now widely acknowledged.

Here are some handpicked quotes by Thomas Paine for you.

Best Thomas Paine Quotes

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ~ Thomas Paine.

Man must go back to nature for information. ~ Thomas Paine.

Our greatest enemies, the ones we must fight most often, are within. ~ Thomas Paine.


The greatest remedy for anger is delay. ~ Thomas Paine.

There is something absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error. ~ Thomas Paine.

The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression. ~ Thomas Paine.

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. ~ Thomas Paine.

Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must undertake to support it. ~ Thomas Paine.

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests. ~ Thomas Paine.

The declaration which says that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children is contrary to every principle of moral justice. ~ Thomas Paine.

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. ~ Thomas Paine.

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. ~ Thomas Paine.

Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime. ~ Thomas Paine.

To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right. ~ Thomas Paine.

Top Thomas Paine Quotes

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one… ~ Thomas Paine.

The right of voting for representatives, is the primary right by which other rights are protected. ~ Thomas Paine.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. ~ Thomas Paine.

My country is wherever liberty lives. ~ Thomas Paine.

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead. ~ Thomas Paine.

A democracy is the most vile form of government there is! ~ Thomas Paine.

It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance. ~ Thomas Paine.


The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture. ~ Thomas Paine.

Nothing, they say is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the time of dying. ~ Thomas Paine.

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot. ~ Thomas Paine.

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad. ~ Thomas Paine.

There are two distinct classes of men – those who pay taxes and those who receive and live upon taxes. ~ Thomas Paine.

Thoughtful Thomas Paine Quotes

To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches. ~ Thomas Paine.

Kill the king but spare the man. ~ Thomas Paine.

Therefore we say that a lying Spirit has been in the mouth of the writers of the books of the Bible. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. ~ Thomas Paine.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst. ~ Thomas Paine.

Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds. ~ Thomas Paine.

The balance of power is the scale of peace. ~ Thomas Paine.

In Deism our reason and our belief are happily united. ~ Thomas Paine.

Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ’tis time to part. ~ Thomas Paine.

A man does not serve God when he prays, for it is himself he is trying to serve. ~ Thomas Paine.

The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. ~ Thomas Paine.


He who dares not offend cannot be honest. ~ Thomas Paine.

Character is much easier kept than recovered. ~ Thomas Paine.

I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my Creator, God. ~ Thomas Paine.

What is called a republic, is not any particular form of government… it is naturally opposed to the word monarchy, which means arbitrary power. ~ Thomas Paine.

Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies. ~ Thomas Paine.

Wise Thomas Paine Quotes

I would not dare so dishonor my Creator’s name by attaching it to this filthy book. ~ Thomas Paine.

These are the times that try men’s souls. ~ Thomas Paine.

The birthday of a new world is at hand. ~ Thomas Paine.

Such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. ~ Thomas Paine.

The slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. ~ Thomas Paine.

The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible. ~ Thomas Paine.

That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. ~ Thomas Paine.

My mind is my own church. ~ Thomas Paine.

To believe that God created a plurality of worlds, at least as numerous as what we call stars, renders the Christian faith at once little and ridiculous; and scatters it in the mind like feathers in the air. ~ Thomas Paine.

Famous Thomas Paine Quotes

The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark. ~ Thomas Paine.

The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing. ~ Thomas Paine.

Practical religion consists in doing good: and the only way of serving God is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy. All preaching that has not this for its object is nonsense and hypocrisy. ~ Thomas Paine.

The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. ~ Thomas Paine.

Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things. ~ Thomas Paine.

The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf. ~ Thomas Paine.

Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. ~ Thomas Paine.


Let them call me rebel, I feel no concern from it. ~ Thomas Paine.

If I do not believe as you believe, it proves that you do not believe as I believe, and that is all that it proves. ~ Thomas Paine.

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon. ~ Thomas Paine.

Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave. ~ Thomas Paine.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again. ~ Thomas Paine.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. ~ Thomas Paine.

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum. ~ Thomas Paine.

A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody. ~ Thomas Paine.

Men should not petition for rights, but take them. ~ Thomas Paine.

Christianity is the strangest religion ever set up, for it committed a murder upon Jesus in order to redeem mankind from the sin of eating an apple. ~ Thomas Paine.

To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God. ~ Thomas Paine.

Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals. ~ Thomas Paine.

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. ~ Thomas Paine.

Of more worth is one honest man to society, and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived. ~ Thomas Paine.

Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. ~ Thomas Paine.

The greatest tyrannies are always perpetuated in the name of the noblest causes. ~ Thomas Paine.

It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene. ~ Thomas Paine.

Time makes more converts than reason. ~ Thomas Paine.

Unique Thomas Paine Quotes

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us. ~ Thomas Paine.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. ~ Thomas Paine.

Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. ~ Thomas Paine.

Government is a necessary evil. ~ Thomas Paine.

The error of those who reason by precedents drawn from antiquity, respecting the rights of man, is that they do not go far enough into antiquity. ~ Thomas Paine.

Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness. ~ Thomas Paine.


Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. ~ Thomas Paine.

All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe. ~ Thomas Paine.

Commerce diminishes the spirit, both of patriotism and military defence. ~ Thomas Paine.

The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence? ~ Thomas Paine.

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. ~ Thomas Paine.

So these were the 94 top Thomas Paine quotes on freedom, government, independence, democracy and monarchy.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Morgan Freeman quotes and Angela Davis quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar