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“Give Me Liberty or Death”: The Patriotic Cry of Patrick Henry

Date: Thursday, Aug. 26 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

In 1775, the American colonies stood on the precipice of revolution. The British Parliament’s conduct toward the colonies was increasingly viewed as a form of tyranny, but many Americans still believed reconciliation was possible. In a speech to the Second Virginia Convention, lawyer and statesman Patrick Henry delivered a passionate speech that cemented support for a more confrontational, armed approach to the conflict with Great Britain. While the speech is best known for its fiery conclusion, “give me liberty, or give me death!” in this seminar we will examine the full text of the speech. In doing so, we will learn timeless lessons about oratory and statecraft, and seek to better understand the fears and hopes of Americans on the cusp of revolution.

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Schwartz, Yishai_(60)