Analysis of Patrick Henry's Speech to the Virginia Convention

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“Give me liberty or give me death!” This statement from Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention,” delivered to the House of Burgesses, has been quoted by many, becoming almost cliché. However, the declaration is truly understood by a select few. The unjust Stamp Act passed by the British crown in 1765, brought fame and notoriety to Henry as he spoke out against the unjust taxation without representation. Ten years later on the eve of revolution, Henry calls upon the Colonial government of which he is part, to act for the betterment of the people. Patrick Henry attempts to persuade the House of Burgesses to revolt and declare war against Britain by logically convincing them that it is their natural right to be free and calling on …show more content…
As he goes on in his speech, he says that to not be free, would be worse than death. Therefore, according to Patrick Henry’s logical argument, and substitution, they must revolt, or face a condition worse than death.
Pathos or, playing on the emotions of the leaders of colonial America, is another tactic Henry draws on to convince them that revolution is essential. He uses the patriotism and pride of the colonial leaders to make them see how the British crown is taking away their natural rights as human beings. He states that outsiders say the colonies are “weak” because they would be “unable to cope with Britain as their adversary.” The leaders of the colonies are not used to being called weak, because they are of the upper classes of the Americas. Therefore this would ignite them to revolution, because the British would be against them, they who had dared question the strength of the members of the colonial Americas. Also, this statement of colonial American weakness would make the members of the House feel slighted because they have been working towards strengthening the Americas and saying they are weak is saying they are failing as leaders of the colonies. Further more, Patrick Henry continues to excite the emotions of the House of Burgesses, stating that
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