Unit 1: A Gathering of Voices
"The American Crisis

by Thomas Paine
Tommy Moreau - Nell Burwell - English III - 25 November 2013


The American Crisis is a collection of works from the famous writer Thomas Paine, who based these ideas off those in the Enlightenment. An cultural movement where people began to make intellectual observations about the state of the world and what they felt were right. It also goes by the "Age of Reason", for it was then that people began finding reason.


The American Crisis was written during the Revolutionary times, or more specifically, 1776 to 1783 in what is now America. At the time Great Britain was the leading power and inherit ruler of the developing United States. However, many Americans felt that the British had no right to rule over them in such a manner for various reasons. One being that they had no representation in foreign affairs or in how their own laws were developed. Two being that Great Britain taxed them heavily to pay for their own war debts with France. Three being more opinionated and wide-spread, British officers and enforcers were the law. They could force their way into peoples' homes to sleep, demand food, and could indiscriminately kill for crimes that may or may not have even been present.


The purpose of The American Crisis was to stir an abused America in action. Thomas Paine would argue for the Revolution and why people needed to wake up and fight, or else it'd be their children and their children's children who would pay the price.

It was to rally together all Americans in a pursuit to get independence from Britain. They felt that Britain had them enslaved, and that they had no natural right to take away their natural rights. Nor could they possibly take care of American affairs across the sea better than those who lived there.

Critical Reading

In the Story, there's a few terms used that describe who Paine believes would assist in time of strife. The Sunshine Patriot and the summer soldier would be those who only wanted to enlist into the army for the benefit of themselves so that they can be the good guys with little work. Paine describes these as the ones who would shirk away while the winter-time warriors fought for their country.

Paine also uses the interesting anecdote of a father and his son. He would start out by describing how the family worked at an inn and the boy was the sweetest babe that could be seen, and the blatant irresponsible father when he said, "Well! give me peace in my day." and prodded that logic by stating what he felt that should be said, "If there must be trouble, let it in my day, that my children may have peace."

The ideals presented for this selection was essentially about patriotism. How did patriotism play into this whole selection, it goes n peace by piece through equality. Those were the ideals that Jefferson and Paine wrote about, everyone being equal. One not being higher in stature to another simply through force or money.

After Reading

The beliefs that Paine was trying to instill were those of Patriotism, not only to the country you live in, but also to your family. If they weren't willing to fight for those who lived around them, at least fight now so the children and the children's children did not have to fight a different day.

In these excerpts, Paine tries to get a feeling of passionate fury at the British for taking their money, forcing them to fight, and that trying to force them into the hell under their boot was something Americans wouldn't stand for. Then there was a yearning sadness, that Britain had forced them to use force to help their children live in a better world.

Works Cited

"Oil Painting of Thomas Paine", Wikipedia, Online Image, 25 November 2013 Auguste Millière

"American Eagle", Birdsofcorpuschristi, Online Image, 21 September 2013, www.birdsofcorpuschristi.com

"Redcoat Facts", totallyhistory, Online Image, 3 December 2013, http://totallyhistory.com/red-coats/

"Revolutionary Patriot Soldiers", Redpillreport, Online image, 3 December 2013,


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