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Patrick Henry Speech Analysis

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Passionate for liberty and his nation, Patrick Henry was one of the most prominent Anti-Federalists of the Revolutionary War era. Henry’s influential speeches on the Stamp Act and to the Virginia Convention surely could have changed America’s course in history. The Speech to the Virginia Convention was given on March 23, 1775, among fellow delegates at the Convention. The question that plagued the colonies at the time was whether or not to go to war with the British for independence. Henry urged the Colonial politicians to commit an all-out revolt against the British Crown. Through personal promises, noteworthy consequences, and ultimatums, Henry establishes credibility, encourages action, and rallies the politicians. At a time where the nation was torn between those who wanted to remain under British rule, and those who wanted independence, Henry makes it known that he is all for breaking apart from Britain. Interestingly, Henry begins his speech using a respectful, thoughtful tone. Easing into the speech allows Henry to appeal to all of the delegates, calming the delegates. By using the pronoun “I” several times, Henry shows that he believes in himself, and therefore the rest of the delegates should as well: “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” Through the use of the
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