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The Crisis

“The Crisis” is Thomas Paine’s series of pamphlets published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution. The first pamphlet begins with the famous words “these are the times that try men’s souls” and evokes the mood at the outset of the American Revolution.

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Many colonists were uncertain of the prospect of war with the British Empire and these pamphlets were designed to bolster morale and resistance among patriots, as well as shame neutrals and loyalists toward the cause. As history would show the conflict with the British for American independence would without doubt be a difficult one but as Paine writes “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

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