On the Affairs of North America


Category: Liberty & Human Dignity and Politics

By Thomas Paine

Published ca. 1890

Reference #1033

Abbé Raynal had published an account of the colonization of American and India in six volumes in 1770. His radical views of the rights of the governed to withhold taxation and overthrow their rulers got him thrown out of France. He is one of many writers at the time who exchanged ideas and had an influence on the thoughts and actions that led to the Revolutions in America and France.

Raynal also wrote a history of the American Revolution, while it was in progress. He published it immediately following the war. Paine was writing to correct Raynal’s misconceptions and inaccuracies concerning the American Revolution. He had certainly read some if not all of Raynal’s work. Paine’s Letter to Raynal gives us a picture of the different points of view in Europe and America concerning the Revolution.