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the american crisis-thomas paine

the american crisis-thomas paine

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Published by Mytyl & kino

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Published by: Mytyl & kino on Aug 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/09/2014

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X IX .
T H E A M E R IC A N C R IS IS
T a b le o f C o n te n ts
E d ito r's P re fa c e
T h e C risis N o . I

T h e C risis N o . II -T o L o rd H o w e
T h e C risis N o . III
T h e C risis N o . IV

T h e C ris is N o . V -T o G e n e ra l S ir W illia m H o w e
-T o T h e In h a b ita n ts O f A m e ric a
T h e C ris is N o . V I -T o T h e E a rl O f C a rlis le , G e n e ra l C lin to n , A n d
W illia m E d e n , E S Q ., B ritis h C o m m is s io n e rs A t N e w Y o rk
T h e C ris is N o . V II -T o T h e P e o p le O f E n g la n d
T h e C ris is N o . V III - A d d re s s e dT o T h e P e o p le O f E n g la n d
T h e C risis N o . IX
- T h e C ris is E x tra o rd in a ry - O n th e S u b je c t
o f T a x a tio n
T h e C risis N o . X
- O n T h e K in g O f E n g la n d 's S p e e c h
-T o T h e P e o p le O f A m e ric a
T h e C risis N o . X I
- O n T h e P re s e n t S ta te O f N e w s

-A S u p e rn u m e ra ry C ris is(T o S ir G u y C a rle to n .)
T h e C ris is N o . X II -T o T h e E a rl O f S h e lb u rn e
T h e C ris is N o . X III - O n T h e P e a c e , A n d T h e P ro b a b le A d v a n ta g e s

T h e re o f
AS u p e rn u m e ra ry C ris is -(T o T h e P e o p le O f A m e ric a )
--------------------------------------------------------------------
T H E A M E R IC A N C R IS IS .
E D I T O R 'S P R E F A C E .
T H O M A S P A IN E , in h is W ill, s p e a k s o f th is w o rk a s T h e A m e ric a n
C ris is , re m e m b e rin g p e rh a p s th a t a n u m b e r o f p o litic a l p a m p h le ts h a d

a p p e a re d in L o n d o n , 1 7 7 5 -1 7 7 6 , u n d e r g e n e ra l title o f " T h e C ris is ." B y th e b lu n d e r o f a n e a rly E n g lis h p u b lis h e r o f P a in e 's w ritin g s , o n e e s s a y in th e L o n d o n " C ris is " w a s a ttrib u te d to P a in e , a n d th e e rro r

h a s c o n tin u e d to c a u s e c o n fu s io n . T h is p u b lis h e r w a s D . I. E a to n , w h o
p rin te d a s th e firs t n u m b e r o f P a in e 's " C ris is " a n e s s a y ta k e n fro m

th e L o n d o n p u b lic a tio n . B u t h is p re fa to ry n o te s a y s : " S in c e th e
p rin tin g o f th is b o o k , th e p u b lis h e r is in fo rm e d th a t N o . 1 , o r firs t
C ris isin th is p u b lic a tio n , is n o t o n e o f th e th irte e n w h ic h P a in e
w ro te , b u t a le tte r p re v io u s to th e m ." U n fo rtu n a te ly th is c o rre c tio n
is s u ffic ie n tly e q u iv o c a l to le a v e o n s o m e m in d s th e n o tio n th a t
P a in e d id w rite th e le tte rin q u e s tio n , a lb e it n o t a s a n u m b e r o f h is
" C ris is " ; e s p e c ia lly a s E a to n 's e d ito r u n w a rra n ta b ly a p p e n d e d th e

s ig n a tu re " C . S .," s u g g e s tin g " C o m m o n S e n s e ." T h e re a re , h o w e v e r,

n o s u c h le tte rsin th e L o n d o n e s s a y , w h ic h is s ig n e d " C a s c a ."It w a s
p u b lis h e d A u g u s t, 1 7 7 5 ,in th e fo rm o f a le tte r to G e n e ra l G a g e , in
a n s w e r to h is P ro c la m a tio n c o n c e rn in g th e a ffa ira t L e x in g to n .It w a s
c e rta in ly n o t w ritte n b y P a in e .It a p o lo g iz e s fo r th e A m e ric a n s fo r
h a v in g , o n A p ril I9 ,a t L e x in g to n , m a d e " a n a tta c k u p o n th e K in g 's

tro o p s fro m b e h in d w a lls a n d lu rk in g h o le s ." T h e w rite r a s k s : " H a v e
n o t th e A m e ric a n s b e e n d riv e n to th is fre n z y ? Isit n o t c o m m o n fo r a n
e n e m y to ta k e e v e ry a d v a n ta g e ? " P a in e , w h o w a sin A m e ric a w h e n th e

a ffa ir o c c u rre da t L e x in g to n , w o u ld h a v e p ro m p tly d e n o u n c e d G a g e 's
s to ry a sa fa ls e h o o d , b u t th e fa c ts k n o w n to e v e ry o n ein A m e ric a
w e re a s y e t n o t b e fo re th e L o n d o n w rite r. T h e E n g lis h " C ris is "
b e a rs e v id e n c e th ro u g h o u t o f h a v in g b e e n w ritte nin L o n d o n . It
d e riv e d n o th in g fro m P a in e , a n d h e d e riv e d n o th in g fro m it, u n le s s

its title , a n d th is is to o o b v io u s fo r its o rig in to re q u ire
d is c u s s io n . I h a v e n o d o u b t, h o w e v e r, th a t th e title w a s s u g g e s te d b y
th e E n g lis h p u b lic a tio n , b e c a u s e P a in e h a s fo llo w e d its s c h e m e in

in tro d u c in ga " C ris is E x tra o rd in a ry ." H is w o rk c o n s is ts o f th irte e n
n u m b e rs , a n d ,in a d d itio n to th e s e ,a " C ris is E x tra o rd in a ry " a n da "
S u p e rn u m e ra ry C ris is ." In s o m e m o d e rn c o lle c tio n sa ll o f th e s e h a v e
b e e n s e ria lly n u m b e re d , a n da b rie f n e w s p a p e r a rtic le a d d e d , m a k in g

s ix te e n n u m b e rs . B u t P a in e ,in h is W ill, s p e a k s o f th e n u m b e r a s
th irte e n , w is h in g p e rh a p s ,in h is c h a ra c te ris ticw ay, to a d h e re to
th e n u m b e r o f th e A m e ric a n C o lo n ie s , a s h e d idin th e th irte e n rib s

o f h is iro n b rid g e . H is e n u m e ra tio n is th e re fo re fo llo w e din th e
p re s e n t v o lu m e , a n d th e n u m b e rs p rin te d s u c c e s s iv e ly , a lth o u g h o th e r
w ritin g s in te rv e n e d .
T h e firs t " C ris is " w a s p rin te din th e P e n n s y lv a n ia J o u rn a l,
D e c e m b e r 1 9 , 1 7 7 6 , a n d o p e n s w ith th e fa m o u s s e n te n c e , " T h e s e a re
th e tim e s th a t try m e n 's s o u ls " ; th e la s t " C ris is " a p p e a re d A p ril
1 9 ,1 7 8 3 , (e ig h th a n n iv e rs a ry o f th e firs t g u n o f th e w a r, a t
L e x in g to n ,) a n d o p e n s w ith th e w o rd s , " T h e tim e s th a t trie d m e n 's
souls are over." T he greateffectproduced by Paine's successive

p u b lic a tio n s h a s b e e n a tte s te d b y W a s h in g to n a n d F ra n k lin , b y e v e ry
le a d e r o f th e A m e ric a n R e v o lu tio n , b y re s o lu tio n s o f C o n g re s s , a n d b y
e v e ry c o n te m p o ra ry h is to ria n o f th e e v e n ts a m id w h ic h th e y w e re
w ritte n . T h e firs t " C ris is " is o f e s p e c ia l h is to ric a l in te re s t. It
w a s w ritte n d u rin g th e re tre a t o f W a s h in g to n a c ro s s th e D e la w a re , a n d
b y o rd e r o f th e C o m m a n d e r w a s re a d to g ro u p s o f h is d is p irite d a n d
s u ffe rin g s o ld ie rs . Its o p e n in g s e n te n c e w a s a d o p te d a s th e w a tc h w o rd

o f th e m o v e m e n t o n T re n to n ,a fe w d a y s a fte r its p u b lic a tio n , a n d is
b e lie v e d to h a v e in s p ire d m u c h o f th e c o u ra g e w h ic h w o n th a t v ic to ry ,
w h ic h , th o u g h n o t im p o s in gin e x te n t, w a s o f g re a t m o ra l e ffe c t o n
W a s h in g to n 's little a rm y .

T H E C R IS IS
I.
T H E S E a re th e tim e s th a t try m e n 's s o u ls . T h e s u m m e r s o ld ie r a n d th e
s u n s h in e p a trio t w ill,in th is c ris is , s h rin k fro m th e s e rv ic e o f

th e ir c o u n try ; b u t h e th a t s ta n d sit n o w , d e s e rv e s th e lo v e a n d
th a n k s o f m a n a n d w o m a n . T y ra n n y , lik e h e ll, is n o t e a s ily c o n q u e re d ;
y e t w e h a v e th is c o n s o la tio n w ith u s , th a t th e h a rd e r th e c o n flic t,
th e m o re g lo rio u s th e triu m p h . W h a t w e o b ta in to o c h e a p , w e e s te e m
to o lig h tly :it is d e a rn e s s o n ly th a t g iv e s e v e ry th in g its v a lu e .
H e a v e n k n o w s h o w to p u ta p ro p e r p ric e u p o n its g o o d s ; a n dit w o u ld
b e s tra n g e in d e e d if s o c e le s tia l a n a rtic le a s F R E E D O M s h o u ld n o t b e
h ig h ly ra te d . B rita in , w ith a n a rm y to e n fo rc e h e r ty ra n n y , h a s
d e c la re d th a t s h e h a sa rig h t (n o t o n ly to T A X ) b u t " to B IN D u s in
A L L C A S E S W H A T S O E V E R ," a n d if b e in g b o u n din th a t m a n n e r, is n o t
s la v e ry , th e n is th e re n o t s u c ha th in g a s s la v e ry u p o n e a rth . E v e n
th e e x p re s s io n is im p io u s ; fo r s o u n lim ite da p o w e r c a n b e lo n g o n ly

to G o d .
W h e th e r th e in d e p e n d e n c e o f th e c o n tin e n t w a s d e c la re d to o s o o n , o r

d e la y e d to o lo n g , I w ill n o t n o w e n te r in to a s a n a rg u m e n t; m y o w n
s im p le o p in io n is , th a t h a dit b e e n e ig h t m o n th s e a rlie r,it w o u ld
h a v e b e e n m u c h b e tte r.W e d id n o t m a k ea p ro p e r u s e o f la s t w in te r,
n e ith e r c o u ld w e , w h ile w e w e reina d e p e n d e n t s ta te . H o w e v e r, th e
fa u lt, ifit w e re o n e , w a sa ll o u r o w n * ; w e h a v e n o n e to b la m e b u t
o u rs e lv e s . B u t n o g re a t d e a l is lo s t y e t. A ll th a t H o w e h a s b e e n
d o in g fo r th is m o n th p a s t, is ra th e ra ra v a g e th a na c o n q u e s t, w h ic h
th e s p irit o f th e J e rs e y s ,a y e a r a g o , w o u ld h a v e q u ic k ly re p u ls e d ,
a n d w h ic h tim e a n da little re s o lu tio n w ill s o o n re c o v e r.

* T h e p re s e n t w in te r is w o rth a n a g e , if rig h tly e m p lo y e d ; b u t, if
lo s t o r n e g le c te d , th e w h o le c o n tin e n t w ill p a rta k e o f th e e v il; a n d
th e re is n o p u n is h m e n t th a t m a n d o e s n o t d e s e rv e , b e h e w h o , o r w h a t,
o r w h e re h e w ill, th a t m a y b e th e m e a n s o f s a c rific in ga s e a s o n s o

p re c io u s a n d u se fu l.

I h a v e a s little s u p e rs titio nin m e a s a n y m a n liv in g , b u t m y s e c re t
o p in io n h a s e v e r b e e n , a n d s till is , th a t G o d A lm ig h ty w ill n o t g iv e
u pa p e o p le to m ilita ry d e s tru c tio n , o r le a v e th e m u n s u p p o rte d ly to
p e ris h , w h o h a v e s o e a rn e s tly a n d s o re p e a te d ly s o u g h t to a v o id th e
c a la m itie s o f w a r,b y e v e ry d e c e n t m e th o d w h ic h w is d o m c o u ld in v e n t.
N e ith e r h a v e I s o m u c h o f th e in fid e lin m e , a s to s u p p o s e th a t H e
h a s re lin q u is h e d th e g o v e rn m e n t o f th e w o rld , a n d g iv e n u s u p to th e
c a re o f d e v ils ; a n d a s I d o n o t, I c a n n o t s e e o n w h a t g ro u n d s th e
k in g o f B rita in c a n lo o k u p to h e a v e n fo r h e lp a g a in s t u s :a c o m m o n

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