Did Thomas Paine support the U.S. Constitution?
He favored the idea of the Constitution to establish the government (it was his idea in 1783), but he strongly argued against the conservative and elitist nature of it. He attacked two major areas: a single executive, and a two-body legislature, one being smaller and more powerful than the other. He favored only a representative legislative body based on increased suffrage not based on property, which should be divided into two, then have separate votes taken and combine the total. He scoffed at the idea that 50 privileged men could defeat the will of the hundreds of other legislators. He also believed that the real strength of the Constitution lay in the ability to rewrite it at the will of the people. So he was no originalist. (See “Constitutional Reform” under Chronology). Paine was a founder of the modern concept of constitutions, where the people, not the government, create a constitution from which the government if formed. The government should have no role in the creation or amendment of the constitution. This concept is rarely followed, which has gutted the concept.