Essay about Patrick Henry

1926 Words Nov 18th, 2010 8 Pages
Mark D. Todderton

ENGL 106

Definition Paper

Patrick Henry: The Urgency for True Liberty

Liberty is acquired through will and perseverance, however, it can also be taken away, and forces people to fight to keep it as well. That was what Patrick Henry states in his speech, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”, to the Virginia Convention. He argues that the leaders of America are not taking control and responsibility for what is really going on, and demands that something must be done to finally conquer the beloved goal of independence from Britain. This speech raises many ideas of what liberty really is, and how some people view the term liberty different from one another. Arguments can be made on the question of what is
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Hope is good, it inspires actions for change, but wars are not won and liberties are not gained by just hope alone. Next, I will talk about what Henry is not arguing. Although it might seem that Patrick Henry is tearing down the government, he is not. He is not questioning the government's abilities or the intelligence of the people who run the country. He states, “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.” He also does not argue the government's overall goal of American independence, by stating previously “the patriotism” in the previous excerpt of his speech I presented. He knows the government wants independence from Britain, and does not possess a hidden agenda, that contradicts its principles. He just disagrees with how the government is handling the matter by stating, “But different men often see the same subject in different lights...”. Henry is also not arguing the attempts to reconcile with Britain, but in which the time it has taken and no progress being made. He asks, “Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love?”, with the reason to make clear that America has asked and wanted reconciliation with Britain, but for some reason Britain must use threatening armies to scare America into submission. He believes in America, and knows that once the country sticks up for itself, that

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