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Thomas Paine – from The American Crisis, No. 1 pgs. 117-119
1. Reread the first paragraph of The American Crisis, No. 1. What does Paine say is not easily
conquered?
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2. In the first paragraph, Paine says the following: “Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has
declared, that she has a right (not only to TAX) but ‘to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER’”
(117). Here Paine is quoting from the Declaratory Act of Parliament (1766) that asserted
Britain’s complete authority over the American colonies. Following this statement, Paine
compares Britain’s control over the American colonies to slavery. What do you think about this
comparison? (FYI – Please note that Paine was against slavery).
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3. Reread the third paragraph of The American Crisis, No. 1. Paraphrase the story that he tells
about the man “who kept a tavern at Amboy” (118). What is the point that Paine is trying to
make by telling this story?
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4. Of what is Paine confident in the third paragraph?
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5. Reread the fifth paragraph. In this paragraph Paine compares the King of Britain to a murder,
housebreaker, or highwayman (thief) stressing the lawlessness of the King’s actions. He also
uses many charged words to help persuade his readers. Look at the following sentence in this
paragraph: “The heart that feels not now, is dead: The blood of his children shall curse his
cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them
happy.” List the charged words in this sentence. How are they persuasive?
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6. What opinion of offensive wars does Paine express in the fifth paragraph?
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7. Name at least two emotions to which the author appeals to in this essay?
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8. What is the main idea of the essay?
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9. What selection (The Declaration of Independence or The American Crisis, Number 1) do you find
more persuasive? Thoroughly explain your answer giving examples from the text.
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