Thomas Paine: Rightfully apart of American Literature

Essay by pandagolf77College, Undergraduate June 2008

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Although coming from humble beginnings, Thomas Paine became a key figure in motivating the colonials to fight for Independence from England. Thomas Paine was born in England in 1737 and was thirty-seven when he immigrated to Philadelphia from Great Brittan. Once in Philadelphia he started out as a journalist and found that advancing himself was an easy. While being a journalist he also was a spokesman against slavery and then was the anonymous author of Common Sense, which was the first pamphlet published in the new colonies inseminating the need to fight for Independence from England. Common Sense was the most influential and popular book of its time grossing a half a million copies sold just in the Colonies itself. He followed the success of Common Sense with a series of pamphlets called Crisis. Even after his success with Common Sense and it vastly recognized and accepted the pamphlets called Crisis were also very inspiring to people during that time.

"The first Crisis paper ("These are the times that try men's souls") was read to Washington's troops at Trenton and did much to shore up the spirits of the Revolutionary soldiers" (Franklin, 630).

"Most of the leaders of the Revolution and a majority of modern scholars point to Thomas Paine's Common Sense as the work that played the pivotal role in winning over the American people to the idea of independence" (Hoffman, 374). "Without the pen of Paine," said John Adams, "the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain" (Fischer, 1). With that quote from one of our founding fathers and past presidents it's easy to see why Thomas Paine was a truly important historical figure in Americas early history.

Paine took a more practical approach to the book Common Sense "explaining why monarchies and hereditary succession were...