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These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot wi


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."
–Thomas Paine

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:

  • Select a specific example of public policy from one of the following fields:
    • Economic policy
      • An example of economic policy is U.S. budget deficit spending.
    • Education policy
      • An example of education policy is the implementation of national education standards.
    • Environmental policy
      • An example of environmental policy is the Clean Air Act.
    • Foreign policy
      • An example of foreign policy is how we conduct trade with other countries.
    • Healthcare policy
      • An example of healthcare policy is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
    • Welfare policy
      • An example of welfare policy is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
    • State a detailed, public policy concern.
  • State why this issue requires the attention of your fellow citizens.
    • Support your response with at least two different reasons.
  • State your detailed, proposed solution.
    • Solution includes regulation, management, education, taxing, market incentives, or other public policy solutions.
  • Support your examples with information from the text and at least two, additional academic sources.
  • Correct grammar and syntax.
  • APA format.

*Optional: you may use graphics, images, etc. Visually, a visualization company, has some examples of graphic heavy, public policy handbills.


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