After the colonist declared they were going to try to obtain freedom from British rule, they faced several problems such as accepting the decision they have made. In The American Crisis, Number 1 by Thomas Paine, Paine tries to inspire and encourage the colonist to join the fight and not lose faith and their will power. Paine uses several writing strategies, such as aphorism and anecdote, in order to give the colonists reasons why they deserve to live free from tyranny.
The eighteenth century, a time of turmoil and chaos in the colonies, brought many opinionated writers to the forefront in support or refutation of the coming American Revolution. This highly controversial war that would ultimately separate the future United States of America from Great Britain became the center of debate. Two writers, both of whom supported the Revolution, now stand to fully illuminate one side of the debate. Thomas Paine, a radical propagandist, wrote many pieces during this time including “The Crisis Number 1” (1776). Through writing, he appealed to the “common man” in order to convince them to gather their arms and fight for their freedom. In this document, he utilizes many of the same rhetorical skills and propaganda techniques as Patrick Henry, a convincing orator, did in his famous speech delivered to the state’s delegates in 1775. Among these techniques are transfer, abstract language, and pathos. In both works, these were used to call the audiences to war. These influential pieces both contained a call to action which, through the use of strong and decisive language, aided the beginning of the American Revolution.
Thomas Paine’s name is famous because of a pamphlet he wrote in 1776 called Common Sense. Though it is his most renown piece of work it wasn’t the only thing he was famous for, he also wrote The American Crisis series and the Rights of Man. Going by the titles of his works you can easily assume that he was political activist writer. His main interests were Politics, ethics, and religion. From my research I feel like Thomas was always involved in some type of crisis whether it be the American Revolution, French Revolution, or the many government debates over naturel rights. It is Thomas Paine’s Common Sense that drove the American colonist to support the war for independence from Britain. Common Sense is an iconic piece of work that not only
Few writers were as influential and widely read as Thomas Paine during his lifetime, and yet only six people were reported to attend his funeral.1 He provoked strong opinions, whether involving love, hate, or more likely both, throughout his lifetime. Paine wrote Common Sense, American Crisis, Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason, all with a specific purpose depending on the political atmosphere at the given time. He has affected the life of every human being since the publishing of his works.
Gallagher, Edward J. "Thomas Paine's Crisis 1 and the Comfort of Time." Explicator 68, no. 2 (April 2010): 87-89. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 27, 2011).
Of the many devices used, the use of rhetorical questions in The Crisis by Thomas Paine serves as the most important in the piece because of how well it plays with the reader’s emotions. Studies have shown that the use of rhetorical questions which have high relevance in the lives of the audience result in enhanced persuasion to the readers, and Paine captures this idea throughout the passage as a whole. He states, “but if a thief break into my house...and kill or threaten to kill me… am I to suffer it? (Paine 3). Paine leaves the answer painstakingly obvious while capturing the situation between the colonies and Great Britain, showing the absurdity that the colonists are going through at the moment. If people were ignorant of the fact before reading the piece, this rhetorical question will undoubtedly leave the readers feeling oppressed, and thus, accomplishing Paine’s goal of persuading the nation into war. Such an instance of the use of a rhetorical question along with many others in the passage serve to convince the readers of the author’s purpose, and the relatability of these rhetorical questions assist the audience at that time in atrocious situations that they have been placed
During 1776, the United States was at war to gain its own independence from the hands of the tyrant King George III and his kingdom. As the fightt continued, the spirits of the U.S. soldiers began to die out as the nightmares of winter crawled across the land. Thomas Paine, a journalist, hoped to encourage the soldiers back into the fight through one of his sixteen pamphlets, “The American Crisis (No.1)”. In order to rebuild the hopes of the downhearted soldiers, Thomas Paine establishes himself as a reliable figure, enrages them with the crimes of the British crown, and, most importantly evokes a sense of culpability.
Thomas Paine’s Common Sense was a powerful and successful propaganda weapon used to promote his idea of independence from Britain. In order to prove that seeking independence was necessary at this time in history, Paine wrote about the relationship between society and government, his opinions about the British monarchy and the King, and the freedoms he believed had been stolen from the colonists. Common Sense was written in terms that were easily relatable to the colonist of this time period. After they finished reading his work, many colonists’ opinions about the British were swayed by his strong words. Even though Paine arrived in America quite late, he was able to make a significant difference by changing the colonists’ views, which ultimately
Paine had not entertained the idea of independence from Britain when he arrived in America. He thought it was “a kind of treason” to break away from Britain. It was not until the Battle of Lexington in 1775 that he considered “the compact between Britain and America to be broken” (Claeys). This idea of a broken compact allowed Thomas Paine to write a political pamphlet.
Other than the persuasive appeals, both Paine and Edwards continuously and strongly exhibit literary techniques such as metaphors and similes. To begin, metaphorical phrases are displayed in both Paine’s essay and Edwards’ lecture. First, in the “The Crisis, No. 1,” the metaphor “if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to ‘bind me in all cases whatsoever’ to his absolute will, am I to suffer it,” is stated by Edwards. This metaphor is being compared to Great Britain invading and installing absolute control over the American colonists through taxes and no representation in Parliament. Also, the thief is Britain, while Paine represents the American colonists whose house is the 13 colonies. Furthermore, in comparison to the metaphor, Britain did destroy and burn many houses during the early portions of the Revolutionary War and, also, through this