The American Crisis

by Thomas Paine

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How does Thomas Paine's The American Crisis relate to postcolonialism?

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The American Crisis, by political philosopher and intellectual Thomas Paine, was written to urge the colonists in present-day United States to support the American Revolution in order to separate from the British Crown.

The American Crisis is an example of revolutionary literature and could arguably be considered a call-to-arms in the same category as Vladimir Lenin's memo to the Bolshevik Central Committee advocating for a revolution, or Mao Zedong's early literary works such as his poem "Changsha."

While the United States of America would later be seen as an international aggressor and colonizer itself—acquiring originally-sovereign territories like Guam, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico—the general public has largely forgotten that the country itself started out as a colony that fought for its freedom from the grips of imperialism.

While The American Crisis was particularly written for and concerning the American revolution, it did not remain dated in modern times and can be considered a universal call to insurrection and post-colonial self-determination.

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