stagger in a drunken sea like Paine — Thomas Paine was an important intellectual force behind the American Revolution — he served in the revolution, and helped develop the rhetoric of a state subservient to its citizens that was reflected in the Declaration of Independence. In spite of this, his reputation in the United States was more for his work The Age of Reason, in which he put forth strong views against religion and skeptical of the existence of God. And this reputation was not a good one. After his death, his enemies claimed both that he had been a licentious drunk and that he had repented and returned to religion on his death bed.