Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry (1736-1799) was one of the strongest influences in the American colonies in favor of breaking away from the British colonial system.  He distrusted a strong central government because of  its inherent power.  Trained as a lawyer, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses where he immediately spoke against the British Stamp Act.  His most famous speech (in favor of breaking away from British rule) ended with the statement, “give me liberty or give me death!”

After the war Henry spoke against the revision of the Articles of Confederation (which became the Constitutional Convention) and was a strong Anti-Federalist, arguing against Virginia’s ratifying of the new Constitution.  His arguments against tyranny and in favor of ordered liberty are as timely today as ever.

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