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Session 8--The Coming of the RevoluationAre Thomas Paine's writings THE AMERICAN CRISIS...

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xtreme69 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted October 19, 2009 at 5:39 PM via web

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Session 8--The Coming of the RevoluationAre Thomas Paine's writings THE AMERICAN CRISIS and COMMON SENSE propaganda? If you think they are, why?

What about the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE? Is it propoganda? If so, why? If not, why not? How about comparing Paine's writings with the DECLARATION?


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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 19, 2009 at 6:01 PM (Answer #2)

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If our standard of propaganda is the idea of being able to motivate and inspire for a specific political purpose, then the works of Jefferson and Paine would certainly constitute.  Both writers and thinkers were not overly concerned with depicting both sides of the Colonial Freedom issue and were not interested in presenting a "fair and balanced" perspective to the issue.  The works produced by both were intended to stir the emotions of the Colonists and galvanize them into action.  They were intended of proving to the Colonists that there was a distinct and real need to declare and, eventually, fight for independence from England.  Paine's work appealed to an emotional case for it, as it compared King George to a bully and also declared that the time is now for the colonists to rebel: "'Tis time to part."  Jefferson sought the same end, but did so in a methodical and calculated analysis which laid the issue of independence out like a court case in his listing of grievances and Preamble.  Both had the direct intent of attempting to inspire action and move Colonists into action.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 19, 2009 at 6:17 PM (Answer #3)

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You asked this question earlier today.  Another person and I answered it.  Were you unable to access our answers, or did you find them inadequate in some way?

If you didn't like our answers (if they didn't answer the question you were asking) it might be useful to us if you could tell us why they fell short of what you were looking for so we might be able to try to do a better job of answering your question.

I've linked to your previous question, and to the answers provided by my colleague and myself.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 20, 2011 at 2:26 PM (Answer #4)

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It depends on how you define propaganda. In a sense, they were propaganda. Propaganda is persuasive speech. It intends to convince or sway people. Thomas Paine was definitely trying to influence people to support the revolution. Propaganda does not need to be negative.

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