These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.“
Open your mailbox during a campaign year and you will receive hundreds of unsolicited, political handbills. In addition to a handbill articulating why candidate X deserves yet another term in office, you may receive public policy handbills. These public policy handbills may argue for particular political, social, and/or economic cause. An example of a public policy handbill can be found via Philadelphia’s Office of Supporting Housing. As a supplement to campaign advertising in newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet, handbills play an important role in the political process.
The circulation of handbills has a storied past dating back to the early, revolutionary era. Thomas Paine is remembered as one of the most influential figures of the American Revolution. Was he a general? No. Was he a Founding Father? No. But, it was Paine’s two, incredibly influential pamphlets (for our sake, let us call them handbills), Common Sense and Crisis, that first convinced many colonists to advocate independence and second argued for continued, military recruitment during the early stages of the American Revolutionary War.
More information about Thomas Paine’s involvement in the American Revolutionary War can be found at the National Constitution Center’s website.
Directions: In a one-page handbill please include:
*Optional: you may use graphics, images, etc. Visually, a visualization company, has some examples of graphic heavy, public policy handbills.