It's hard to conceive of the American Revolution happening without Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and one of history's greatest political communication minds.
Consider this quote from Paine being circulated today by Patriot Post:
"If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute."
Those rather prescient words were penned by Paine in 1791 in Rights of Man, which he wrote during his rather controversial time in France as a participant in and critic of its revolution.