Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!
How different would America be if not for our founding fathers and their contributions? Without the founding fathers, such as Patrick Henry, America would be different. In the fight for independence, Patrick Henry played an important role. Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Richard Henry Lee created the Virginia House of Burgesses to settle the violent state of the colonies. In March 1775, he met with members of the second Virginia Convention. They discussed a need to mobilize a military against the English. Henry spoke in Richmond, Virginia instead of the capitol in Williamsburg. He spoke with confidence, intensity, and devotion in the fight against the English government. Henry used ethos, pathos, and logos to influence supporters and opponents of the American Revolution.
Patrick Henry started his speech with a message of urgency. He accuses the King of disregard for the colonies. Henry believed the Americas were too far from England to be successfully overseen. Henry argues that the colonists need to fight for their rights against the British. His last intense words accepted with the same earnestness and enthusiasm, as the American Revolution began a month later.
Patrick Henry opened his speech so the colonists with different opinions could come together. Henry stated, “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights (Henry).” Henry recognizes the evident differences in beliefs that the colonist has. Henry goes on in his speech to say, “The question before House is one of awful moment to this country, and I consider is as nothing less than question of freedom or slavery (Henry).” Henry determines the colonists must make an ultimate decision. By utilizing the words ‘slavery’ and ‘freedom’, he created a hope for the colonist to hold onto and to create fear in the colonies. Henry appeals to the colonist’s religion because it was relevant to the revolutionary cause. Henry stated, “Should I keep back my opinions at a such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason toward my country, and an act of disability toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings (Henry).” Henry denounced the King when he stated Majesty of Heaven. Doing this, he informs the colonists that God was on their side. By associating God with the war, Henry utilized the use of pathos and ethos. Patrick Henry’s speech refutes his opponent’s beliefs that there was no need for battle with the British. Henry stated, “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts(Henry).” Henry made the colonists believe that hope was an illusion.
Henry’s speech utilized the colonist’s emotion to convince them of the need for the revolution. Patrick Henry said, “I know of no way of judging of the future by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves (Henry).” This quote state why Henry believes the colonists who support England are doomed by them. Henry does this by using logos to expose the inconsistencies with their thinking.
Today many historians debate over Patrick Henry’s speech. However, the effects of the speech lead to the Revolution. Henry’s speech caused the first wave of American nationalism. Henry used ethos and pathos to create fear but also stabilized the colonist emotions. Without Patrick Henry’s speech, America could be a completely different place
Virtualology. “Patrick Henry.” Patrick Henry, Jan. 2000, virtualology.com/thomas-jefferson.org/Patrick-Henry.net/.