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Thomas Paine And Patrick Henry During The 1770s

991 words - 4 pages

The 1770s proved to be a time of much chaos and debate. The thirteen colonies, which soon gained their independence, were in the midst of a conflict with Great Britain. The colonies were suffering from repeated injuries and usurpations inflicted upon them by the British. As a result of these inflictions, Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry addressed these injustices, and proved to be very persuasive through providing reasoning and evidence that moved many colonists to believe that to reach contentment and peace the colonies had to rid themselves of British rule. These men's works were very effective, not only because of the rhetorical devices used, but also because Paine and Henry were passionate ...view middle of the document...

Such descriptions of what the British army would push its limits to, such as sending over 200 boats, possibly frightened the colonists to believe that Great Britain's power was overwhelming (Paine par. 5). The colonists who had not yet sided with the forces fighting for independence might have begun to question their positions. What else were the British capable of doing if they won the war? Would it not be better to fight so that the British had a lesser chance of winning? Paine's intentions, through providing his account, were not merely to entertain the public, but to arouse the public to action. Most importantly, both Paine and Henry depicted King George III as someone heartless and controlling. King George III, after all, was able to hire Hessians to do a lot of his dirty work.
Although King George III was viewed by many Americans as a tyrant, there are those who would argue that he was acting for the good of the people. Tories, who sided with the king, believed that Britain was also too strong and could not be defeated. However, Paine sounded very convincing when he outrightly slandered the Tories, "And what is a Tory? Good God! [W]hat is he? [...] Every Tory is a coward; for servile, slavish, self-interested fear is the foundation of Toryism; and a man under such influence, though he may be cruel, never can be brave" (Paine par. 7). This not only served to prevent colonists from siding with the British crown, but it also served to mar the ego of many men and provoke them to switch loyalties.
The alliteration used by Paine only emphasized the disgust he felt towards Tories.
Moreover, Paine used General George Washington in The American Crisis in order to give Americans someone to look up to. The light in which Paine had his audience view Washington made...

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