During the American Revolution, farmers who joined the Continental Army during the spring and summer went AWOL in the fall and winter. They were known as "summer soldiers". They signed up with the Army after their crops were planted, they fought the British over the summer, but then returned home to help with the harvest.
Meanwhile, citizens who supported the revolution when the war effort was going well (but not otherwise) were called "sunshine patriots". This led Thomas Paine to write his famous pamphlet "Common Sense," in which he stated: "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 ...
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