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 is undoubtedly one of the most prolific founding fathers of the United States, albeit not in the manner most would expect from a founding father. Paine was not a drafter of the constitution, nor was he an early member of Congress or President of the United States. However, Paine did have a profound impact on society, not only in America, but also abroad. Often remembered for helping spur the American Revolution, yet not as often remembered for the other revolution in France. Two of the more famous writings from Paine are, of course, Common Sense and The Rights of Man, both of which were written during revolutionary times in separate countries. It goes without saying that when a revolution is taking place there will be many on both sides of the war; in both of these instances, Paine was the voice of the people and stood up for what was right regardless of the consequences. I posit Thomas Paine was the most influential man for revolution in America and France despite fear of backlash or imprisonment. In fact, near the end of his life Paine was not only imprisoned, but somehow evaded being beheaded as well. Thomas Paine was even more influential as a result of his extreme lack of self-interest and ability to stay true to the cause of his writings rather than wither away in fear.
Back in the late 1700s America was still a newly founded country and Paine was trying to make and image where America was great with absolutely no problems. America suffers with almost no unity and though some of Paine 's statements were accurate and some not so much this shows that with time everything changes. The country Paine characterized is a country where the majority of Americans want to live in. A country where there is equality and justice, but one day this country will achieve that again with
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.
“Thomas Paine Makes the Case for Independence”, Reading the American Past. Ed. Michael Johnson. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2012.
Thomas Paine wrote a series of pamphlets anonymously in 1776, targeted at the average member of society, showing his belief in the American Revolution. He was an extremist and most of his ideas stemmed from The Enlightenment. Throughout the series, he discusses society and government in a comparative way. He chose to remain anonymous at the time of writing these, and its understandable why. In his writings, the first chapter alone, he challenges monarchy and the corruption within, and also challenges the idea of kings and monarchy.
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.
Claeys, Gregory. Thomas Paine: Social and Political Thought. Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989. ebook Collection (EBSCOhost). 16 25 2013.
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
Thomas Paine was one of the great supporters of the American Revolution. He was a journalist and used his pen and paper to urge the public to break free from Great Brittan. He wrote anonymously, yet addressed the public as he spoke out about his beliefs. The first pamphlet he published, influencing independence from Brittan, was called Common Sense