Would anyone give as much information as possible can regarding The Crisis and The Declaration of Independence?
Anything regarding the cultural trends of the time, historical aspects, influences upon the authors/their influence upon people, and authorial/biographical information would be SO helpful. I am doing a project on Classicism so any information regarding the topic would help IMMENSELY! Thanks!
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The Crisis number one written by Thomas Paine while witnessing the defeat at Fort Lee, New Jersey would become the first entry in The American Crisis. Paine's use of persuasive language energized the Contential Army. Paine's infamous line 'these are the times that try men's souls'... are forever emblazened upon the American mind. Following The Crisis, Thomas Paine's Common Sense arguing in defense of independence set colonial America on fire. After reading or hearing that argument, the patriots increased their power base.
The Declaration of Independence took political ideology and transformed it into political reality. No where had the political philosophies of Locke, Rosseau, and Montequieu ever impacted a society the way they impacted the United States of America.
Classicism is rooted in the idea that man is good. Although there proves to be inconsistencies, both Paine and Jefferson hold to the classic interpretations and are willing to gamble on man's goodness. In that sense both men offer an opitmistic view of the human experience well versed in classical history.
In terms of The Declaration of Independence, Jefferson was heavily influenced by the theories of John Locke and his classically liberal views. The notion of creating a zone where government intrusion into economic matters, primarily, but also political freedom was a driving force in Jefferson's ideas. Applying Locke's ideas to the predicament with the Colonists and King George and Parliament, Jefferson found Locke's ideas very persuasive, almost taking them verbatim, with "life, liberty, and the pursuit of property" being replaced with "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. " Jefferson was also heavily influenced by his study of the French political theorists, in particular, the Enlightenment thinker, Voltaire. The individualist notions and zealous defense of freedom were implicit in The Declaration of Independence and these ideas resonated with colonists at the time who felt that rights were being taken away by the British authority.
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