Thomas Paine wrote a series of articles known collectively as "The Crisis" to support his argument for independence from England during the Revolutionary War. Although he was born and raised in England, Paine was a staunch proponent of the movement to found a new government in the New World.
According to the Library of Congress, Paine authored the first of his "Crisis" essays in 1776. He established a pattern of demanding freedom for all human beings, regardless of class or wealth. He repeatedly said and wrote that what mattered most in the world was what was in men's minds and hearts.
The History Channel indicates that Gen. George Washington found Paine's first essay so inspiring that he ordered it read to the troops at Valley Forge.
According to the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Paine was involved in the American Revolution prior to this, having written a number of patriotic pieces for "Pennsylvania Magazine," of which he was also the editor. In addition to lending the revolution movement his writing talents, he served in Washington's army and contributed his own funds to the war effort. In keeping with his liberty theme over the years he also wrote arguments for abolishing slavery.