Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 [O.S. January 29, 1736][Note 1][Note 2][Note 3] – June 8, 1809) was an American and English political activist, philosopher, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination".