Patrick Henry's Influence On The Renaissance

Decent Essays
“Give me liberty, or give me death” is one of the most infamous quotes of the modern age. Reiterated throughout the British colonies in the western hemisphere around the time of the American revolution. Patrick Henry is the one who sparked this idea in the American revolution. However, he found this concept almost directly in the British play, Cato that was written by Joseph Addison in 1713. At the end of Act II, scene 4, Cato declared “It is not now a time to talk of aught but chains or conquest; liberty or death.” One of the driving statements behind the founding of our country was derived directly from a play that was meant to be a Roman classical tragedy. However, this is just one example of the vast influence the classics had on our country’s …show more content…
Another aspect in which this understanding had an influence upon is the architecture our founders chose to pursue. Their decision also was heavily influenced by what had went on in Europe for a few hundred years prior to 1776, the renaissance. Dr. Gannaway spoke about this influence and its effects on the renaissance period. The word renaissance literally means, “rebirth”. In this context it touches on the cultural rebirth of the classical world. We spoke about this in class, and how it was sparked by the rediscovery of the literature from Rome and Greece. This rediscovery heavily influenced their culture, and in turn, their architecture.
The architects during this period took certain foundational concepts from the classical Roman and Greek architecture, some examples Dr. Gannaway spoke about were facades, arches, columns, and domes. Much like the European architects of the renaissance period, the early American architects built prominent government buildings in this same light. In fact, most of the state capitol buildings in our country utilize a dome in some capacity, and most also are comprised of columns. Both the Greeks and the Romans utilized these two architectural features
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Another revolution in the 18th century was heavily impacted architecturally, and that was the French revolution. Dr. McKinley discussed the influence the neo-classical world had on the art and architecture of the period. We discussed how the French like the Greeks and Romans emphasized the use of precise archaeological exactitude, which was down to their understanding of the classical world. Whether it is the French replica of the Pantheon (the Panthéon), or the Sacré-Cœur, neo-classical influence is all over the architecture of this period.
Not only is neo-classical architecture scattered throughout buildings from the French revolution, but also the art that Dr. McKinley showed us. Jacques-Louis David was one of the neo-classical artists of the time. He painted incredible pieces referencing back to the classical world with paintings including Socrates and Brutus. His painting of Brutus was also extremely important due to the message it

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