Here are some words to define and understand:
It would appear that Thomas Paine struggled with his message before committing to words in The American Crisis. He must have felt the cause was pretty bleak. He must have wondered if independence was a lost cause for the time.
We've all had moments when we couldn't think of something to write; we've all had moments when we couldn't think of the next thing to write. It doesn't matter as long as we refuse to give up.What are some strategies for overcoming writer's block?
Sometimes the best writing is the writing we struggled through. The fact that we struggled and kept at it makes it that much more valuable.
Fair Weather Fans
The first part of The American Crisis reminds me of fair-weather fans in sports, today. Those are the folks who only cheer for a team and wear their gear if the team is winning. They never claim to follow that same team if it has a losing season.
In other words, the patriot-citizenry was growing numb to the cause. Even the Congress was leaving their home base in Philadelphia. George Washington's Continental Army was not winning, and the people were dispirited. The troops wintered without shoes and provisions. It had become known as the Winter of the Red Snow. And civilian support was waning.
Thomas Paine wrote that when the going gets tough, the tough should get going. He discouraged Patriots from being fair-weather fans - those individuals who only follow their teams in victory and renounce them in defeat: "The summer soldier and sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country."
How do you feel about folks who only root for their team when the going is smooth and abandon them when things get rough? Discuss.
If you'd like to read more, you can read the entire text of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis.
Speaking of sports, what Thomas Paine gave the Patriots was basically a pep talk. We usually associate pep talks with coaches and sports. There are so many things wrong with the pep talk below, in which the actors are a little insensitive to their players. Can you identify all of the things these coaches do wrong?
Can you do better? The teacher will hand you a piece of paper with the name of a group that needs to be built up. Your job, coach, is to enter the stage and hand us the performance of a lifetime. Built up your team with some positive, energetic words.
While We're on the Subject
At times, it may seem that General George Washington acted on his own as the leader of the continental army. While Washington was the commander-in-chief, he often consulted a team of military leaders before making decisions. Two of those generals are briefly introduced below.
With the information we have here, let's make a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the two generals.
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