Paine and Henry´s Influence on the American Revolution

963 Words2 Pages
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. “In God We Trust” is the phrase upon which we base our country. It can be seen on our money, in our justice system, and even in our Pledge of Allegiance. By recognizing God as the foundation of truth and justice which most people were inclined to accept, both Paine and Henry formed successful arguments based partly upon transfer. Because God is considered the truth, the right way, and the fair judge of the world, it only made sense to use His influence to give credibility and the positive connections associated with God to the American Revolution. As intended, both audiences freely a... ... middle of paper ... ...ed to achieve the emotional appeal, both men managed to stir up dormant feelings and led their audiences into battle with fervent words and careful statements. In a time full of chaos, desperation, and dissenting opinions, two definitive authors, Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry, led the way toward the American Revolution. Both men demanded action of their separate audiences. Paine wrote to inspire the commoners to fight while Henry spoke extemporaneously to compel the states’ delegates to create an army. Despite the differences between the two, both had very similar arguments which relied heavily upon God, abstract language, and ethos. In the end, both men were able to inspire their audiences and capture the approval and support of the masses. If not for these two highly influential and demanding men, the America that we know today might not exist.
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