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Patrick Henry and the American Revolution
Transcript of Patrick Henry and the American Revolution
Patrick Henry and the American Revolution
Role in Colony
When the colonists won the revolutionary and were free from British rule (Spoiler alert), Henry became the first governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. He was re-elected several times.
In 1760, Patrick Henry turned to law and passed a test to gain him a place within the world of politics. Three years later, he won the Parson's Cause while arguing in favour of the People's rights in the trade of tobacco, becoming a leader and an idol for the people of Virginia.
He was one of the main contributors of the first ten amendments of the Constitution, called the Bill of Rights, which describes the basic freedoms of people that the government cannot take away.
"Henry dominated...holding the floor for as much as one-quarter of the proceedings and keeping his audience in rapt attention" (p. 310)-
The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788
by Pauline Maier.
Patrick Henry: Early Life.
Born: May 29, 1736 in Hanover County, Virginia
Died: June 6th, 1799--the Red Hill Patrick Henry Memorial, Virginia.
Careers: Governor, politican.
As a child, Patrick Henry was very bright but not very driven. His father John Henry was a planter, while his mother Sarah Winston Syme was a widow from a respectable family.
Young Patrick was described as a “derelict” by ushistory.org due to his idle, lazy personality. He stopped his schooling due to disinterest at only ten years old, receiving the rest of his education from his father, and attempted storekeeping twice, going bankrupt both times.
Patrick chose to marry at age eighteen to a sixteen-year-old with a large dowry, during which he tried his hand at planting, being unsuccessful yet again due to a fire that burned down his house in 1757.
Political Stance Analysis:
The People's Politician
In 1764, Henry was elected to the House of Burgesses, the first representative legislative body in colonial America meeting in the capital of Virginia, Jamestown.
Virigina elected Henry as their representative for both the First (1774) and Second Continental Congresses (1775). He was also a military commander, a role which he resigned in 1776.
The Continental Congresses
Sept, 1774 First Congress: All colonies except Georgia sent representatives to decide a course of action against King George's Intolerable Acts.
Their decision was to stop trading with the British, forcing them to withdrawl the Acts
Met in Philadelphia
Elected governor: 1776-1778, 1784-1785
He laboured to solve many problems caused by the Civil War. To protect the state, he set up docks on the coast. He generously rewarded the state and the Continental army, sponsored mining trips, and became involved in gunpowder trade.
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Henry was an avid supporter of democracy and was the first American politician to call voters “fellow citizens.”
Patrick Henry was very much about individual rights for the people. When he served in Virginia State Convention, he opposed the idea of a Constitution because he felt it endangered the individual rights for the states.
During the Revolutionary War, Henry was a strong patriot leader and a member of the Sons of Liberty. He gave many passionate speeches in defense of the rights of the people against the British tyranny.
However, after he lost his argument, he accepted the Constitution and joined the Federalist Party.
The Federalist Party (1970s-1816) was the first political party of the USA. It advocated a "Strong, centralized government."-Wikipedia.
May 10. 1775. Some new representatives joined: Franklin, Jefferson, and Hancock.
Purpose was to unite the colonies for war against the British.
Went on after the war had ended, and was renamed the
Congress of the Confederation.
For five years afterwards, Henry effectively became a hermit. He refused to return to the political spotlight, even though many, including President George Washington, made him offers of prestigious positions. In 1796, for the 6th time, he was elected Governor of Virginia, but even then he refused.
In 1788, Henry left the public scrutiny and returned to law practice as a successful criminal lawyer.
In 1794, he brought a plot of land and retired to his Red Hill estate near Appomattox, Virginia. It is now the Red Hill Patrick Henry Memorial Site.
Finally, George Washington persuaded him to run for the representative of the state's legislature. Henry won, but died before he could take up the post in 1799 (Age 63)
After the revolutionary war in 1786, Henry served as governor for several years
Evidently, Patrick Henry was an excellent orator. During his life, he gave two particularly resounding speeches for his cause.
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There are women here, to show Henry can capture anyone's attention.
Red often symbolizes fighting, and it represented the colour of revolution in the past. Patrick Henry may or may not have worn red during the actual speech, but the colour was meant to excite and symbolize the change he wanted to bring.
The lighting of the painting is very interesting. It seems that everything from Henry's raised hand is basked in light, seeming to symbolize Henry was enlightening the audience with his views
The man is whispering to his neighbour, while the man behind him draws a sword. This speech is very controversial as Henry spoke about what some considered treason. There is a varied reaction from the crowd, however, most seems relatively calm. Realistically, most was on their feet protesting, but the painting portrays calmness and willingness to listen. This may have been the artist's bias, in support of the idea of revolution.
Henry's posture is portrayed to be the one of a leader, with a hand raised high in excited speaking and seems to radiating confidence. It shows that the artist was in support of Henry's actions and recgonize him as a figure of authority.
3. Answers may vary, "Caesar...Brutus...". "Give me liberty or give me death."
4. Answers may vary: built docks, rewarded the state and the Continental army, sponsored mining trips, gunpowder trade.
8. They both met in Philadelphia.
In 1765, after the Stamp Act was released, Henry made several powerful statements to the Virginia House of Burgesses in regards to the unjust taxation. It was a very controversial speech, and it was frequently interrupted by cries of: "Treason! Treason!" However, the revolutionary resolutions he proposed mostly passed.
"Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First, his Cromwell and George the Third...may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.”
On precisely March 23rd, 1775 in St. John's Church, Richmond Virginia, Henry delivered his most famous speech to the Second Virginia Revolutionary Convention. With this speech, he sought to propose the organisation of a volunteer company of cavalry or foot-fighting soldiers in every Virginia county. It also aimed to excite and motivate the revolutionaries, both of which succeeded.
I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry: Diary Entry
March 23rd, 1775
In the wee hours of the morning.
Today is the day of the Second Virginia Revolutionary Congress, the day I will present my proposals and hope for the best. It is not radical, not nearly as the speech of the Stamp Act which was met with both contemplative expressions and alarmed cries, calling me a traitor, a heretic, guilty of treason. Yet at the end of my speech, all five of my presented proposals passed. Admittedly, the last was recognized only by one vote, but I am confident in my speaking skills. Gone were the days when I bankrupted my shops and burned down my field, I am a revolutionary leader, the symbol of a new age for my beloved colony, Virginia, and I will serve my part well.
The people are stirring. They are slowly responding to my echoing calls for release from the irony boot of the king, the, dare I say it, tyrant who imprisons us with his absurd taxations and incessant demands for more money to further embroider his extravagant palace across the ocean. However, merely stirring is not enough. I am eager for action, for us to take an active role. If we are to revolt, we cannot do it quietly! We must make ourselves known, to let the uniformed soldiers see that we are not to be tampered with ridiculous Acts! My speech today will give them that incentive. I will show them what is worth dying for. I will motivate them; I will strike the flint for the spark of a New Age! This, I swear to them, and to myself, by the ever-omniscient Lord. By God.
It shall be a speech remembered and preserved for millennia!