“Give me Liberty, or Give me Death”- Patrick Henry 1775



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At a meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1775, Patrick Henry proposed seven resolutions against the Stamp Act. The first five resolutions were adopted and passed by the House of Burgesses, however the Fifth was expunged the following day. Though resolutions six and seven were never passed by the House, all seven were widely declared in the colonial press giving the impression that all passed the Virginia Assembly.

Patrick Henry was a Patriot leader in Virginia.  He did not like the Stamp Act 1765 and he is remembered as a strong Patriot for his “Give me liberty, or give me death!” speech. Along with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, he is viewed as one of the most powerful supporters of representative democracy.  In Virginia there was no stronger supporter of the American Revolution and the fight for independence from the British government.

Patrick Henry was a Virginia representative to the Continental Congress.  He was successful in using Virginia’s resources to support Congress and George Washington’s army. He also promoted the military tour of George Rogers Clark. This tour drove the British from the Northwest Territory. During the years Henry served as governor, the legislature passed reforms that changed Virginia from a royal colony into a self-governing republic.  Virginia was home to many founding fathers including James Madison, George Mason, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.  The Virginia government greatly influenced the National government we have today.


Below is an actor’s version of Patrick Henry’s famous speech supporting the Patriot cause in Virginia: