Rights of Man | Study Guide

Thomas Paine

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Thomas Paine

Years Published





Political Science

At a Glance

Thomas Paine, an influential writer and thinker who helped spark the American Revolution (1775–83) against British rule of the American colonies, responds to the British writer Edmund Burke's criticism of the French Revolution (1789–99, period of social and political rebellion against absolute monarchy and feudalism). Paine argues for the right of a nation to stage its own revolution against an oppressive government and advises governments to operate according to the rights of man. Throughout the book, he defines those rights as liberty, happiness, comfort, and equality.

About the Title

The title Rights of Man refers to the natural, divine rights of man Thomas Paine deemed necessary for governments to acknowledge. In Paine's view a government's civil laws should spring directly from these rights.


This study guide and infographic for Thomas Paine's Rights of Man offer summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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