2912 English 11 Period 3
Patrick Henry was the American orator who urged colonists to take up arms against the British, proclaiming, “I know not what course others may take; but as for me… give me liberty or give me death!” Henry began his career as a storekeeper and tobacco farmer, but in 1760 he began practicing law. He soon earned a reputation as a passionate and convincing speaker, and in 1763 he gained attention throughout the colonies for opposing King George III and the Stamp Act in a speech that many considered treasonous. On 23 March 1775, Henry gave a rousing speech before Virginia’s legislature, urging his fellows to arm themselves in anticipation of hostilities with the British and speaking the line for which he remains famous. No manuscript or record of the speech exists; it was reconstructed some forty years later in a biography by William Wirt. Henry later served as Virginia’s first governor and dominated the commonwealth’s politics throughout the 1780s. He declined to serve in the Constitutional Convention (1787), but afterward emerged as a strong opponent to federalism and helped secure the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. He turned down opportunities to serve in the U.S. Senate and the Supreme Court, choosing instead to remain active in Virginia law and politics until his death.
American Revolutionary leader, he admitted to the bar in 1760, he soon built a large and profitable practice. His skill as an orator was displayed in the Parson’s Cause trial (1763).
The Essay on Similarities and Differences in Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and Richard Henry’s Speech to the Second Virginia Convention
There are many similarities and differences in Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” and Richard Henry’s Speech to the Second Virginia Convention. Both of these famous speeches were made by colonists to persuade the people of the colonies to dissolve all connections with Great Britain and fight for their own freedom. Patrick Henry made his speech before the Declaration of Independence to persuade the ...
Elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1765, he opposed the Stamp Act; during the next decade he became a leader of the radical opposition to British rule. He was a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence and a delegate to the Continental Congress. At a Virginia assembly in 1775 he delivered his famous speech in defense of liberty, which concluded with the words “Give me liberty or give me death.” He helped draft the state’s first constitution in 1776 and was elected governor the same year (1776 – 79, 1784 – 86).
As wartime governor, he ably supported Gen. George Washington; during his second term, he authorized the expedition of George Rogers Clark to invade the Illinois country. In 1788 he opposed ratification of the U.S. Constitution, which he felt did not sufficiently secure the rights of states and individuals. He was later instrumental in the adoption of the Bill of Rights.