Thomas Paine: Propaganda or Principle

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Propaganda, the true spearhead that pieces the heart of an enemy cause. Thomas Paine is an artist of propaganda that sways people with his words and inspires the common man to be more. Appealing to colonists on the side of a free and independent America and the undecided commoners. With the declaration on independence already written and revolution in full swing, his words are important now more than ever. He comments on America wanting peace and freedom, and how they wish not to fight the British but have no choice. With the Tories on the rise and retreat in full affect, they need support now more than ever as they make their stand against General Howe. In a period of war and revolution, a period that “try men’s souls.” Paine tries to appeal to his fellow countrymen (Paine, 1). Paine tells a compelling story of a small body of colonial militia standing up to the great General Howe and having a successful retreat where they strengthened their army, to compel the reader, the colonist to become a patriot and stand up against the British. They “Marched out twice to meet the enemy” the fearless Jersey militia (Paine, 2). Stories like this, of the common colonist turned patriot hero lights a fire in every undecided American heart to stand up to the ruling British and tyrant George the third. The Americans want freedom and they want peace but the British war machine that does not take them seriously only thinks of how it can regain control of the colonies and impose more taxes. In the fifteenth century Joan of Arc inspired the French and beat back the British, and showed the world that even one women is enough to win a revolution, “Heaven might inspire some Jersey main to spirit up her countrymen, and save her fair fellow sufferers from ravage and ravishment” (Paine, 2). Paine tries his best to encourage the colonists but also turns some attention to the Tory threat.

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