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The American Crisis is a collection of articles written by Thomas Paine during the American Revolutionary War. In 1776 Paine wrote Common Sense, an extremely popular and successful pamphlet arguing for Independence from England. The essays collected here constitute Paine's ongoing support for an independent and self-governing America through the many severe crises of the Revolutionary War. General Washington found the first essay so inspiring, he ordered that it be read to the troops at Valley Forge.