Patrick Henry

4 April 2017

The Urgency for True Liberty Liberty is acquired through will and perseverance, however, it can also be taken away, and forces people to fight to keep it as well. That was what Patrick Henry states in his speech, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”, to the Virginia Convention. He argues that the leaders of America are not taking control and responsibility for what is really going on, and demands that something must be done to finally conquer the beloved goal of independence from Britain.

This speech raises many ideas of what liberty really is, and how some people view the term liberty different from one another. Arguments can be made on the question of what is liberty, and if true liberty can even be reached in society. Nonetheless, Henry makes valid arguments, which I support, however, there are some other counter-arguments that I will debunk. Patrick Henry’s main argument, which I agree with, is to exclaim that the Convention is puttering around the idea of reconciliation with Britain, while it is clear that there mostly would not be any progress in its regards.

Patrick Henry Essay Example

The stalling and unpreparedness of the American government was evident, and why sit around and wait for nothing but hope that Britain will let loose its chains of control over America? Henry realizes that Britain is the enemy and is, in a sense toying, with America, giving hope for a resolution that will not happen. Henry urges the leaders of America to stop being content on hope, yet raise an army to fight for liberty and independence from the monarchy, because it has yet to happen. This situation was similar to three events I will now discuss.

The first event involves the African Americans’ hopes for abolition from slavery, and in turn, gain equal liberties that white Americans possessed. Yes, slavery had been abolished, but did the African Americans have equal liberties as the whites did? They did not. They could not vote, nor have good paying jobs, and were socially segregated from the whites. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s when they received full access to all deserving liberties of the American Constitution. Martin Luther King Jr. along with hundreds of thousands of African Americans protested for equal rights and liberties that white Americans possessed. They fought for their rights and freedoms and acquired them. They did not sit back and wait for change to happen, which would have been just dandy with the majority of the United States Congress, and much of America in general. Much of America was content with how blacks were treated unjustly, and would have been that way for years to come. This proves that fighting for your liberty is the only way to obtain it.

Another event I would like to discuss is the action taken by the French commoners during the French Revolution. They were disgusted with the absolutism philosophy of Louis XVI controlling every aspect of the French nation. They could not sit back, while starving from lack of food, and weak from lack of power, much longer. They banded together, came as one and took control of their liberties by overthrowing the French Monarchy and took control of their country. This again proves that fighting for liberty is the only way to acquire it.

The final event is the Women’s Rights Movement. The American government was content on keeping women powerless, without political involvement, no career opportunities, and no authority. They had no say in their own democracy, yet expected to be a loyal citizen to a nation that did not think much about them in the first place. They fought for their rights and liberties, and eventually got them. Liberty has many definitions. It can mean, autonomous, the freedom from servitude and confinement of oppression, or immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority.

Each definition of liberty covers any of the events I have mentioned. My point, along with Henry’s argument is that in a vast majority of cases, change cannot be made by hope alone, but rather by actions. Hope is good, it inspires actions for change, but wars are not won and liberties are not gained by just hope alone. Next, I will talk about what Henry is not arguing. Although it might seem that Patrick Henry is tearing down the government, he is not. He is not questioning the government’s abilities or the intelligence of the people who run the country.

He states, “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. ” He also does not argue the government’s overall goal of American independence, by stating previously “the patriotism” in the previous excerpt of his speech I presented. He knows the government wants independence from Britain, and does not possess a hidden agenda, that contradicts its principles. He just disagrees with how the government is handling the matter by stating, “But different men often see the same subject in different lights… . Henry is also not arguing the attempts to reconcile with Britain, but in which the time it has taken and no progress being made. He asks, “Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? ”, with the reason to make clear that America has asked and wanted reconciliation with Britain, but for some reason Britain must use threatening armies to scare America into submission. He believes in America, and knows that once the country sticks up for itself, that they can win the battle of oppression, and claim its overall goal of independence.

I believe Henry’s war cries are evident, and shows that he believes that his country can, indeed, defeat the controlling bully Britain. You may have objections to Henry’s or my arguments. You might ask, why not just wait for reconciliation, how does Henry know it will not happen? His response is, “I know of no way of judging of the future but 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 and the House. ” The facts have been spilled out for what he says, ten years.

For ten years prior to his speech what exactly has gone on to make the government so content and pleased. Nothing has been, the government has not told of anything new in regards to discussions with Britain. Basically, for ten years no progress has been made, so what makes anyone in their right mind think that something will happen soon. It would be as if you are asking your superior for an increase in pay after working for a long time. Each time you ask politely, and he or she brushes you off, showing lack of respect and appreciation, you just deal with it.

You boss’s intentions have yet to change, when exactly, do you think they will? It is as if you are a measly pawn in their game of chess, yet they can advance, but you are in a stalemate at all times. Perhaps you may be one to take this cruel and undeserving treatment, but I would not. This proves that you must fight for what you believe in. Another objection may be that if you chose to fight, how could you raise an army vast enough to defeat the British? While this argument is yet a good one, let us not forget how the American’s have advantages.

The British would be fighting in the American’s backyard. How is this an advantage you might ask? Our soldiers would know the terrain better than any of the British soldiers would. They would know how harsh the winters can be, and would be prepared for the worst, while the British, relatively new to the American climate and terrain would be worn down and defeated in spirit. Battered from the harsh and severe conditions, and also lack of knowledge of the land and certain locations, could leave the British perplexed. Another advantage would be the American spirit itself.

They say a creature is most dangerous when its back is against the wall, and if this is not a case for the American’s, I do not know what would be. Is this not the case? The American’s have much more to fight for and so much more to lose, so their mentality would be much stronger and their will would be more greater than any enemy wanting to take their liberties away. It is not the size of the dog in the fight, but it is the size of the fight in the dog. Another valid argument could be the question of should Americans risk defeat? Well isn’t it a risk willing to be taken? Henry states, “They tell us, sir, that we are weak….

But when shall we be stronger?… Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? ”. He knows that the British are somewhat hesitant as well to fight the American’s, or they would have done it already. The British know that it would be a tough fight and I believe were hoping that America would not fight. With the millions of liberty hungry Americans, they would indeed defeat the British. Henry brings up the argument of acting soon, before Britain takes total control of everything, or he says, “Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? . The bottom line is eventually, if no action is taken, it would not matter if the Americans lost the battle, because the British would eventually take over anyway. Why not stop Britain’s continuous gaining of control and fight while America still has a chance. In a sense, America has nothing to lose and everything to gain, and it is a risk worthy to take. This proves that fighting for your liberty is basically the only way you can possess it, which leads me to my conclusion. Liberty is always earned, and must be fought for to keep.

It is a simple pleasure most of us take for granted, and we should always keep in mind why we are so lucky to have it. Patrick Henry spoke of his aspirations to fight for liberty and also his willingness to die for it as well. Therefore, his war cry reached the millions of ears of Americans and spread throughout the nation. The Americans soon took his words and dreams, and decided that it was time to fight for what might get taken completely away from them. As we all know, the Americans did defeat the British, and were finally free from British tyranny, eventually becoming the most powerful and free nation on earth.

We should never forget how important the words of Patrick Henry were to the United States of America, for you can make the argument that for those words alone created a nation that we have today. We must always remember those who have fought for this great nation, and understand why they did, and humble ourselves, for it can always be threatened to be taken away again. If and when that time comes, we must not forget our ancestors’ actions, but to follow in their footsteps. We must never let them die in vain.

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper