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Thomas Paine as a Theorist of the Right to Existence

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Thomas Paine share with the Montagnards and the popular movement in the French Revolution the same conception of the republic. It is based on the guarantee of the right to exist, based on an idea of freedom defined as equality of personal rights. Instead, the Girondins and Condorcet whose political ideas are yet systematically associated with his, highlight the unlimited freedom of the owner as the basis of society. Thomas Paine allows to reconsider the divisions from which historiography has fixed the meaning of the French Revolution. He reveals the contradictions of the standard narrative of modernity we have inherited.

Affiliations: 1: GRHIS – University of Normandy, Rouen


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