What Is the Main Idea of “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine?

Laurent Dabos / Public domain/Other

“The Crisis” by Thomas Paine focuses on the concept of establishing a sovereign American nation free of British tyranny. Printed at the turn of the Revolutionary War, this collection of articles contended that the British wanted to express powers reserved only for God and that it was the duty of all colonists to stand against their oppressors. It is also referred to as “The American Crisis.”

Thomas Paine’s “The Crisis” is a series of 13 pamphlets and publications aimed at encouraging the American colonists to continue their opposition of British rule. Following an exhausting campaign against the British army, the American people felt worn down. Some lost momentum toward establishing a republic instead of another monarchy in the wake of colonial rule. To dissuade these sentiments and stir the colonists to renewed vigor in the spirit of freedom and common rule, Paine published an ongoing sequence of pamphlets and distributed them free of charge across all the colonies.

“The American Crisis” was printed between 1776 and 1783. George Washington ordered these documents read to his troops at key battles during the course of the Revolutionary War. Many Americans gained confidence and patriotism from Paine’s ongoing dedication to “The American Crisis” and his previous work “Common Sense.”