“The American Crisis” is a pamphlet series by the Enlightenment philosopher Thomas Paine, written during the American Revolution. Paine wrote these pamphlets in order to motivate people in the Colonies to join the war for independence from Britain. The pamphlets were contemporaneous with early parts of the American Revolution, during a time when colonists needed inspiring works. Paine, like many other politicians and scholars, knew that the Colonists weren't going to support the American Revolutionary War without proper reason to do so. They were written in a language that the common man could understand, and represented Paine's liberal philosophy. Paine also used references to God, saying that a war against Kingdom of Great Britain would be a war with the support of God. Paine's writings bolstered the morale of the American colonists, appealed to the English people's consideration of the war with America, clarified the issues at stake in the war, and denounced the advocates of a negotiated peace. Often known as simply The Crisis, there are sixteen pamphlets in total which Paine signed with the pseudonym, “Common Sense.”
Thomas Paine (1737–1809) was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. Paine's ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights.