Thomas Paine Quotes About Freedom and Government

Discover the powerful words of revolutionary thinker Thomas Paine, from ‘Common Sense’ to ‘The Rights of Man,’ Paine’s writing has had a profound impact on history and continues to inspire readers to this day. In this article, we’ve compiled some of Paine’s most famous quotes and explore the context in which they were written. 

57 Thomas Paine Quotes

Thomas Paine Quotes
  1. “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”
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2. “One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.”

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3. “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

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4. “The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”

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5. “An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.”

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6. “Whether we sleep or wake, the vast machinery of the universe still goes on.”

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7. “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

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8. “What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; it’s dearness only that gives everthing its value.”

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9. “That government is best which governs least.”

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10. “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense.”

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11. “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.”

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12. “A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be.”

Famous Thomas Paine Quotes

13. “My own mind is my own church.”

14. “Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.”

15. “Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

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16. “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

17. “Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.”

18. “Reason obeys itselt; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

19. “Man did not enter society to be worse off, or to have fewer rights, but rather to have those rights better secured”

20. “It is impossible to derive happiness from the company of those whom we deprive of happiness.”

Best Thomas Paine Quotes

21. “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

22. “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem lightly.”

23. “Better fare hard with good men than feast it with bad.”

24. “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”

25. “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 quotes on tyranny

26. “Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.”

27. “Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.”

28. “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

29. “Commerce diminishes the spirit both patriotism and military defense.”

30. “Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.”

31. “Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of Government.”

32. “The intimacy which is contracted in infancy, and the friendship which is formed in misfortune, are, of all others, the most lasting and unalterable.”

Thomas Paine Quotes Government

33. “Time makes more converts than reason.”

34. “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

35. “Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”

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

36. “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”

37. “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil in its worst state, an intolerable one.”

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38. “The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its government.”

39. “If the present generation, or any other, are disposed to be slaves, it does not lessen the right of the succeeding generation to be free.”

40. “He who knows best knows how little he knows.”

41. “Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

42. “I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

43. “In mourning the plumage, he forgot the dying bird”

44. “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”

45. “Nothing, they say is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the time of dying”

Thomas Paine Quotes About Freedom and Tyranny

46. “Let it then be heard, and let man learn to feel that the true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity, and not on conquest.”

47. “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.”

48. “There exists in man a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, and which, unless something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that condition,to the grave.”

49. “The guilt of a government is the crime of a whole country”

50. “Make government what it ought to be, and it will support itself.”

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51. “There are injuries which nature cannot forgive; she would cease to be nature if she did.”

52. “Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.”

53. “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason.”

54. “Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured.”

55. “Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.”

56. “The connection between vice and meanness is a fit subject for satire, but when the satire is a fact, it cuts with the irresistible power of a diamond.”

57. “Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance.”

Additional Read: Thomas Paine | British-American author

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