From 1776-1779 and 1784-1786,
Patrick Henry served multiple terms as post-colonial Governor of Virginia.
Henry, who is most widely remembered for his rousing “give me liberty give
me death” speech, is considered one of the most influential and radical Founding
Fathers in United States history.
All Founding Fathers had an
influence in the creation of the American Constitution or the separation from
the British Monarch, the means or efforts, however, vary in terms of ferocity
and candidness. Along with Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry is
commonly referred to as the most boisterous advocate for the American
Revolution, and more specifically, Republicanism.
Patrick Henry was a firm
believer in “clean” governments and refused to accept corruption
among Government officials. Henry’s fervent beliefs on Government actions
greatly augmented a unifying uprising against British rule. Some of the chief
causes of the Revolutionary War simply stemmed from influence and rhetoric of
various leaders such as Patrick Henry.
The proposal, written by Henry,
contained such extreme language that it is commonly referred to as one of the
significant causes of the Revolutionary War. Patrick Henry stated the violation
of many principles within the document, including Britain’s unfair enforcement
of taxation on citizens not represented by Parliament. Since America was
founded, British law claimed that the colonials would only be taxed by
governing bodies which represented them. The Stamp Act was a prime example of
treason and one of the many significant causes of the Revolutionary War.
Enraged by the tyrannous actions of the British government, Patrick Henry
vehemently sought justice through passionate and defiant speeches.
Henry was a strong supporter of
individual freedoms and firm believer in the attainment of State rights.
Ashamed by the power awarded to the central government, Henry led his fellow
Virginians to reject the ratification of the United States Constitution.
Patrick Henry was arguably the
leading and most influential member of the Anti-Federalist Party. Before he
passed away in 1799 Henry promised himself and his fellow supporters that a Bill
of Rights would be included in the amended Constitution. Along with other Founding
Fathers, Patrick Henry was influential in the adoption and increased momentum
for the inclusion of individual rights in the Constitution. Although an arduous
process, Henry eventually reached his goal, for the first 10 Amendments of the
United States Constitution unequivocally grants freedoms and liberties to the