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Over the centuries one of the most important tools available to protesting groups was literature Some of the most famous protest literature in the world has its roots in American history For example some great American authors of protest literature include Thomas Paine Thomas Nast John C Calhoun and Martin Luther King Through eloquent sometimes subtle means these authors became the spokesmen for their particular protest movements Thomas Paine was an English-born man who seemed to stir controversy wherever he traveled Paines forceful yet eloquent prose made him a hero for the three great causes to which he devoted his life the American Revolution religious reform and the natural rights of man At the age of 37 Paine strove for the fabled shores of America determined to forget his past He made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin and settled in Philadelphia There Paine was eventually hired into the profession of editor for the Pennsylvania Magazine He published a series of minor essays but his first important work was an essay written for the Pennsylvania Journal in which Paine openly denounced slavery This was Paines first foray into the world of protest literature and it clearly whet his appetite Paine soon became fascinated with the ongoing hostility in Anglo-American relations and much to the dismay of his publisher could not seem to think of anything but Therefore in late 1775 Paine had begun what was to become a 50-page Pamphlet known as Common Sense In this work Paine stated that Society in every state is a blessing but Government even in its best state is but a necessary evil in its worst state an intolerable one for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a Government which we might expect in a country without Government our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer Government like dress is the badge of lost innocence the palaces
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