CHRONICLE OF THE REVOLUTION
Patrick Henry – Inspiring Words
Patrick Henry
 Patrick Henry
The famous cry “Give me liberty or give me death!” has been attributed to Patrick Henry, as he urged fellow Virginians to arm themselves in self-defense. Whether or not he truly uttered those legendary words is disputable, but Henry’s reputation for intensely opinioned and inspired speech is impossible to deny.

When the highly controversial Stamp Act was imposed by Britain, Patrick Henry was a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses. He proposed and defended resolutions against the Act with great panache. Carried away by the passion of his words, he began hurling insults at the British Crown, comparing the king to infamous tyrants. “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and George the third…” Those watching erupted with cries of treason to the Mother land, but Henry kept his convictions and managed to have all of his resolutions approved.

After the war, Henry was strongly critical of the proposed Constitution. He was a determined anti-federalist who believed in the rights of individual states, and the fact that the Constitutional Convention was being held in secret made him angry. Highly suspicious of the close-lipped proceedings, Patrick Henry proclaimed his distrust with the now-famous line, “I smell a rat!”

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