How would you explain the following quotation from "The Crisis" by Thomas Paine?: "I call not upon a few, but upon all; not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake."  

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Thomas Paine realizes that the individual states are fiercely protective of their unique identities and are therefore reluctant to engage in any kind of common endeavor. But he also understands that that's a blinkered attitude at a time of national crisis. The issue of independence is bigger than any one state; it is a vital concern for America as a whole, not for this state or that.

What's needed, then, is for every single American and every single state to put aside their differences and "put their shoulders to the wheel" (i.e., work incredibly hard) to make the dream of independence a reality instead of just a pious hope. That means fighting for it on the field of battle against all the odds; it means digging deep and finding hitherto unfathomed reserves of courage and resolve in order to defeat the British.

There's no point in holding back, says Paine; it's far better to go down fighting that to be over-cautious and...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 486 words.)

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