Type
Essay
Pages
4 pages
Word Count
1171 words
School
N/A
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Give Me Liberty or Give me Death Analysis

February 1, 2016
Narciso 1
Faith Narciso
Professor Boguchwal
1426 HIST 120
“Give Me Liberty or Give me Death”
On March 23, 1776, Attorney Patrick Henry delivered his inspiringly provocative speech,
“Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” urging the President of the Virginia House of Burgesses to
take a firm stand against their oppressive mother country. Previous to this affair, New England
had long been politically abused by Great Britain. After transitioning from allies in the French
and Indian War to merely profitable laborers, the prominent events leading to these rebellious
assemblies began with unfair taxations, such as the Sugar Act in 1764 and the Stamp Act in 1765
(Dunaway 568). As more inequitable laws were enacted in a span of several years, the tension
between the colonists and their mother country grew to an eruption of violent protests and
resentment. Tragedies, such as the Boston Massacre in 1770, as well as the daring movements,
like that of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, confederated the colonies in defiance to what was
“widely seen as a direct threat to their political freedom” (Foner 148). As a result, the first of the
Virginia Convention series was brought about on August 1, 1775 by a council devoted to
discussing future relations for the better between the colonies and Great Britain (Dunaway 567).
On March 20th of 1776, the second Virginia convention gathered in Richmond, Virginia to
debate upon what revolutionary measures the thirteen colonies should take in opposition to Great
Britain (Tyler 118). Three days later, during the fourth session, Henry expresses his dismay
towards the ongoing mistreatment the colonies have suffered and proposes that it is now the time
to assemble physical forces against the nation that has oppressed them (Tyler 118).
Patrick Henry was born a Virginian on May 29, 1736 (“Patrick Henry National
Memorial”). He grew up to be a lawyer, patriot and orator who was consistent in his participation
of America’s foundations (“Patrick Henry National Memorial”). Henry was a forefront activist
Narciso 2
for the colonists’ natural rights in numerous occasions. He strongly opposed the Townshend Acts
and argued in defense of the unjust voting system of the British Crown in the 1763’s “Parson’s
Cause” case, claiming Britain as a tyranny rather than a democracy (Unger 30). Henry also took
part in various political offices and represented the colonists in debates and meetings. Starting off
as a member of the House of Burgesses in 1765, he was a founding member of the Virginia

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