Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams each contributed to selling the revoluti
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Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams each contributed to “selling the revolution” to a
complacent society through their pamphlets, and writing such as Common Sense, and The
American Crisis, The Rights of Man, and The Age of Reason, all of which concentrated on
the emotions of the society during the Revolutionary Era.
Englishman Thomas Paine is said to be the most persuasive writer of the
revolution. After 37 years of drifting from various jobs such as corset maker to a school
teacher he decided to come to the United States to make a new start. He moved to
Philadelphia where he worked as a journalist. The controversy between England and the
colonies prompted him to write to write Common Sense. Through this pamphlet he
caused the people to support breaking away from the British because of the way he
denounced King George the 3rd (1689-1702) as a “royal brute”, a murderer and a thief,
and stated that we should not be a continent that is attached to an island.
In 1776 while Paine was on the road with the continental army he wrote a series of
pamphlets called the American Crisis where he persuaded people not to give up their fight.
As best stated in the American Crisis,
...God Almighty will not give up
a people to military destruction, or leave them
unsupportedly to perish, who have so earnestly and
so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war,
by every decent method which wisdom could
Here Paine is persuading the people to continue the fight because it is willed by the
power of God and that man in himself should fight for what is right. He convinces the
fearful society of what they should do. By these writing being circulated, more and more
people became supportive of the facts . Paine continues,
“...I dwell not upon the vapors of imagination: I bring reason to your ears, and, in language
as plain as A,B,C, hold up truth to your eyes.”
Paines point is that the colonists have a choice between independence and
enslavement. When given a choice this matter of factly, the colonists choose freedom
above, because of the picture of the depopulated cities and an unorganized country. Paine
concludes that “ If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have
peace.” This statement alone was inflected deeply into the hearts of the colonists, and
instilled that sense of pride. Later Paine published works such as The Rights of Man, and
the Age of Reason, along with many other pamphlets persuading the colonists.
Samuel Adams, born in Boston, to a brewer, also had persuasive view on the
revolution. In 1743 when he went back to Harvard to attain his Master of Arts degree he
thought of the revolution and stated that “Whether it be lawful to resist the Supreme
Magistrate, if the Commonwealth cannot otherwise be preserved.”
Adams, obviously thought along the same lines as Paine when stating this. He tells
us that it is O.K. for the colonies to resit the king as long as it protects them.
Adams, another persuasive writer of the time wrote many works that helped support the
colonies. Writer of Boston’s protest against the stamp act and elected official to the Mass.
colonial assembly, he was often called “ the man of the town meeting.”
The greatest influence that Adams had on the colonies was in 1772 when he
created the committee of correspondence, which roused the complacent attitudes of the
society. Adam then wrote the famous ‘circular letter’ in which he once again persuaded the
colonists to join together and fight the British. Adams himself was a strong advocate of
colonial independence, thus causing him to sign the Declaration of Independence some
Both Paine and Adams were prominent figures in the “sell of the revolution” in
which they achieved at getting the people of the colonies to support them and want to
break away from the British. Though their works, they touched the hearts of Americans
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Age of Enlightenment, American Revolution, Pamphlets, Thomas Paine, Common Sense, Adams family, The American Crisis, The Age of Reason, Samuel Adams, United States Declaration of Independence, Paine, Stamp Act
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