Thomas Paine "The Crisis No. 1"

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Date Added: 10 / 14 / 2010
Category: US History
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Thomas Paine "The Crisis No. 1"

View Full Essay Thomas Paine “The American Crisis” Analysis

          Thomas Paine was famous for his political writings advocating the revolution.   His rhetorical document The American Crisis was very persuasive and influential.  Some of Paine’s political ideas were praised and some were argued, and his views on religion made him an outcast.   The American Crisis was a valuable work informing the American people that they owed no loyalty to Britain and would only survive if all ties were to be severed completely.   His writing was a major force behind the American Revolution.   Paine had such a way with words that he used three different techniques in his rhetorical document to call forth the support and patriotism of the colonists: comparing and contrasting, derision, and confidence-building.
          Paine’s writing was meant to provoke outrage and support from the colonists, and to get them to fight for their freedom, by using comparing and contrasting techniques.   He wrote “…to suppose that He has relinquished the government of the world, and given us up to the care of devils”, which compared the British monarchy to devils and showed Americans that the British were morally corrupt.   Paine then equated freedom with overall contentment when he wrote “I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion.”   He explained to the American colonists that they will never be content until they rid themselves of the British.   He reasoned with the colonists that because freedom equals happiness, they ultimately desired freedom. Paine got the point across without jumping around the issue or speaking timidly about their situation at that time.
Paine also used derision to get support from the colonists.   He ridiculed those who would swear allegiance to Britain, or give in to them out of fear and cowardice.   He showed a great deal of brotherly love and respect to the ones who would stand up and fight for their...