This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death Essay

3379 words - 14 pages

Michael Kehayias
Professor Manill
Eng. 101
30 November 2012

Patrick Henry’s Legacy

"Give me liberty, or give me death!", the slogan that became the call-to-arms for the American Revolution, is the final sentence of a speech given by Patrick Henry to the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775. These compelling words were uttered at the St. John's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia, and the sentiments were to be echoed in the houses of government throughout the land which would become the United States of America. This monologues considered by many to be the impetus for the Virginia Convention’s overwhelming vote to dedicate its troops to a military effort which would evolve ...view middle of the document...

Gradually, the position of he and his group began to represent the mainstream, save for the Loyalists.
Although historians disagree on whether Henry actually spoke the famous words attributed to him, many contending his biographer authored them, it is difficult to appreciate the full weight they had at the time they were uttered. Moreover, students of the specific period that have focused on the radical group consisting of Henry, Adams, and Paine seem to overwhelmingly support the notion that these famous words did indeed come out of Patrick Henry’s mouth. They argue that the sentiments so closely parallel other speeches and essays by Henry that no one else could have spoken them. There are also references to the phrase in documents that precede by many years the actual publishing of Henry’s biography. After reviewing several of Henry’s works, I personally agree with those that believe the famous words were indeed spoken by Henry at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? [...] I do not know what others decide, but I say give me liberty, or give me death!”
In 1776 he became the first governor of Virginia, holding the post again from 1784-1786. Always opposing a strong central government, he raised some eyebrows when he refused to sit at the Philadelphia Convention in 1787, protesting the prevalent political climate of Federalism. (Cohen, 702).
He gathered craftsmen, farmers, and gentlemen merchants who opposed the Constitution. He believed that it gave too much power to the federal government. He vehemently opposed Federalists James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. When President Washington offered him the position of Secretary of State in 1795, he declined on the grounds of irreconcilable political differences (Randall, 90).
Henry was an avid critic of the Constitution and struggled in vain against its ratification, arguing that it gave too much power to the federal government. His opposition, however, led to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. In the late 1790s, however, he became a federalist supporter of Washington and Adams, while most of his supporters became Jeffersonian. In 1798, President Adams offered him the position of special envoy to France, but Henry had to decline due to ailing health.
During the campaign, he attacked the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, approved by the legislatures of the two states after they have been secretly written by Jefferson and Madison (Nelson, 90). In them, he judged unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts issued by the federal government and it was argued that the Constitution was a compact between states which had delegated some powers to the federation, while maintaining its sovereignty and the right to nullify federal laws deemed contrary to constitution. According to Henry, however, the claim of Virginia to rule on the validity of federal laws was unconstitutional. He was warned about the risks...

Other Essays Like Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death - Essay

Bring Me the Horizon Bibliography Essay

666 words - 3 pages Horizon. I have taken so much time to dedicate myself to knowing their music, the stories behind their music, and following what they have been doing the past five years. I have seen them live in concert twice and plan to see them many, many more times. I love this band, and I always will. I idolize each member and they give me the potential to become something as great as they are one day.

This Is An Essay About The United States Marines Corps It Give An Overveiw Of The Corps

1894 words - 8 pages trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will. My rifle and I know that what counts in war are not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.My rifle is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my

"Mine honor is my life; both growing one; Take honor from me and my life is done." What does this statement mean? Write 250 words essay interpreting this qoute

514 words - 3 pages "Mine honor is my life; both growing one; Take honor from me and my life is done." This statement suggest that the honor is part of life without it people can't live. This quote is true because if the person doesn't have honor he/she is not considering as a human been. Nobody will respect or count with their opinion. The two pieces of literature that best illustrate this quote is the story "Scarlet Letter" and the novel "A "Streetcar Named

Locked Away

535 words - 3 pages If I got locked away And we lost it all today Tell me honestly would you still love me the same? If I showed you my flaws If I couldn't be strong Tell me honestly would you still love me the same? Right about now If a judge 'for life' me, would you stay by my side? Or is you gonna say goodbye? Can you tell me right now? If I couldn't buy you the fancy things in life Shawty, would it be alright? Come on show me that you

Final Five Wishes

993 words - 4 pages Final Five Wishes CW Psych 210-B13 Liberty University I currently am twenty years old. Death is not something I think about much. I rarely ever ponder the decision that would need to be made if ever put in what could be considered a critical position. I am so young, so fresh in life, making a name for myself, death and my last wishes are not things I have honestly sat down to straighten out. While pondering my last wishes I felt

Epidemiology Study Guide

4830 words - 20 pages its markets. In contrast to physicians and hospitals that were reimbursed on a fee-for-service basis, Liberty received a fixed fee in advance for each Davina Drabkin prepared this case under the supervision of Robert Pearl, MD, and Professors David Caldwell and Charles O'Reilly as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. Copyright © 2004 by the Board of

Foner Ch 3-10 Essay

3338 words - 14 pages :// Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty: An American History. Fourth ed. Vol. 1. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2014. Ray, Benjamin. "Diary of Samuel Sewall." Salem Witch Trials. Last modified August 2, 2010. Stansbury, Arthur. "The Rise of the Common Man." USHistory. Last modified February 24, 2013.


819 words - 4 pages you to take more challenging courses, even if they weren’t offered to you in the past. To me this is what defines my education to be of high quality. My freshman year at Liberty I was given generic classes, with no honors or AP. I had the power to change that and I did, I went from taking regular courses to all honors and one AP class my freshman year. I became more engaged in my education, which in turn allowed me to enjoy what I was learning

Patrick Henry Describing In Literary Terms About The Speech Given At The "The Virginia Convention" By Patrick Henry

760 words - 4 pages and see what is going on outside of their small community and not take any action to what will be the destiny of not just the people around them but them as well. They must stand up with their neighbors, cousins, and "brethren" and fight for what they believe, what they want, and what they have dreamed of for so long. Henry makes the point that the "war has already begun" and there is nothing they can do but ignore it or join it; what do they want, liberty, peace, justice for what they have worked so hard all of their lives? All Patrick Henry wants is liberty and he will die fighting for it, "Give me liberty or give me death!"


852 words - 4 pages , I am writing this essay on Sunday at 2:30pm the day it’s due. My parents would never push me to write, they would ask the usual parental question of, “Did you finish your homework yet?” As a rebellious kid, of course I told them I had. When the final hour was approaching to finish, or in my case start the essay, I had to cram and stay up late to finish my work. Sometimes I would stay up until midnight or later. Luckily my dad kept odd hours and

One World Shining Into a Prism

660 words - 3 pages okay to slack off. I personally believe that the schools I have attended are wonderful and have given me great experience. All of my teachers have always been very motivational and I feel like most of them are real and actually care about their students. I have had plenty of inspiring teachers that give me motivational speeches or that push me to my fullest potential, and although I know for a fact I don’t like most of it, I definitely

Related Papers

Give Me Liberty Essay

1188 words - 5 pages Give Me Liberty! Give Us Suffrage! “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!” This famous quote used by Patrick Henry during his Virginia Convention speech was the declaration of the many persons who faced injustice and inequality in America. The United States of America was said to be the land of opportunity and prosperity, but opportunity and prosperity for whom? Terms and conditions were not stipulated upon living in or relocating to America

Give Me Liberty Essay

1244 words - 5 pages Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death March 23, 1775 By Patrick Henry No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak

Ed Sheeran Give Me Love

709 words - 3 pages Give me love like her, 'cause lately I've been waking up alone, Paint splattered teardrops on my shirt, Told you I'd let them go, And that I'll fight my corner, Maybe tonight I'll call ya, After my blood turns into alcohol, No, I just wanna hold ya. Give a little time to me or burn this out, We'll play hide and seek to turn this around, All I want is the taste that your lips allow, My, my, my, my, oh give me love, My, my, my, my

Education Essay Superman & Me

958 words - 4 pages writes about in her essay. Talbot uses her interviews with students to talk about the struggles of trying to become the valedictorian of their respective school, and to argue whether or not to keep the valedictorian or not. “ particular, a girl named Kylie Barker, who told me recently that she had wanted to be valedictorian ‘pretty much forever.’” This statement from one of her interviews is to create a sympathy to her readers. If the