Civilizations' Origin: A Thought Connection Between Thomas Paine and Jane Addams
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As a result of ideological opposition or the reduction of his writing to mere propaganda, the legacy of Thomas Paine within mainstream political theory has remained largely unexplored. Never a friend to the elite or powerful, Paine’s torch was carried by the common men, trade unionists and socialists, who found in him a kindred spirit. While his reputation and character have been restored in recent decades, scholars still do not assign his legacy enough value. One avenue of investigation that is not present in the literature is a connection to sociologist Jane Addams, who served as an honorary vice president for the Thomas Paine Monument Association. In particular, Addams’ political anthropology bears a number of distinct similarities to that of Thomas Paine, and she applied many of these views through her work at Hull House. Beyond the purely historical connections, these similarities in their respective political anthropologies can also be revealed through thorough examination of both thinkers’ accounts of pre-civilization (or the state of nature), the rise of civilization, and how civilization ought to be treated normatively. In this thesis, based on the above revelations, I find that Thomas Paine was a discernible influence upon the political anthropology of Jane Addams.
United States history
Frankel, Garion H (2021). Civilizations' Origin: A Thought Connection Between Thomas Paine and Jane Addams. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from