Great speeches: Patrick Henry, Give me liberty or give me death [Video]

Patrick Henry was a leading advocate of the American Revolution. After over a decade of struggle with the economic and political policies of the British under King George III, many citizens in the American colonies felt the need to resist British encroachment on their civil rights. In March of 1775 the Second Virginia Convention met at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. There 120 delegates, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, met to debate the issue of organizing a militia to resist Great Britain’s oppressive rule. On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry delivered a speech which supported military action against the British. This stirring speech swayed the vote and was most likely the deciding factor in committing Virginia troops to fight the British. Less than a month after Henry’s speech, on April 19, 1775, the Battle of Lexington and Concord took place marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

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