Citizens of the World: Paine and the political prisoners transported to Australia

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Through exiled political prisoners, Thomas Paine's concept of liberty was transmitted to the new Australian colonies from the 1790s to the 1860s, and impacted on convict resistance, emerging radical movements and the nineteenth-century campaign for Australian democracy. While Paine's influence was explicit in the charges against Thomas Muir and his testimony to the court, he was also a major influence on the Scottish martyrs' contemporaries, the United Irishmen. Paine's ideas on democracy, a colony's right to self-determination, and on agrarian reform still resonated half a century later with the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s. Equally inspiring for a range of transported radicals was Paine's model of a new type of activist political citizen, who deployed accessible journalistic texts and rational, evidence-based arguments to publicise radical ideas to a wide sector of the people, in order to transform what was unthinkable yesterday into tomorrow's common sense.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Legacy of Thomas Paine in the Transatlantic World
EditorsSam Edwards, Marcus Morris
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781848935778, 9781351246941
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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