The American Crisis (Forgotten Books)

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9781606208571: The American Crisis (Forgotten Books)

The American Crisis was a series of pamphlets published in London from 1776-1783 during the American Revolution by revolutionary author Thomas Paine. It decried British actions and Loyalists, offering support to the Patriot cause.

The first of these four pamphlets was published on December 23, 1776; the second on January 13, 1777; the third on April 19, 1777; and, the fourth and final on September 12, 1777.

The first of the pamphlets was released during a time when the Revolution still looked an unsteady prospect. Its opening sentence was adopted as the watchword of the movement to Trenton. The famous opening lines are:

These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

The pamphlet attempted to bolster morale and resistance among patriots, as well as shame neutrals and loyalists toward the cause:

Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Along with the patriotic nature of The American Crisis, it displayed the strong religious beliefs that provided additional rationale for a religiously and socially conservative continent, inciting the laity with suggestions that the British are trying assume powers that only God (the Deist notion of God, not the Christian) should have. Paine sees the British political and military maneuvers in America as "impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God." Paine states that he believes God supports the American cause, "that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction, or leave them unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestl

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About the Author:

English-born Thomas Paine left behind hearth and home for adventures on the high seas at nineteen. Upon returning to shore, he became a tax officer, and it was this job that inspired him to write The Case of the Officers of Excise in 1772. Paine then immigrated to Philadelphia, and in 1776 he published Common Sense, a defense of American independence from England. After returning to Europe, Paine wrote his famous Rights of Man as a response to criticism of the French Revolution. He was subsequently labeled as an outlaw, leading him to flee to France where he joined the National Convention. However, in 1793 Paine was imprisoned, and during this time he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason, an anti-church text which would go on to be his most famous work. After his release, Paine returned to America where he passed away in 1809.

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