Patrick Henry: “Liberty or Empire?” Speech

(1788)

Patrick Henry rose to prominence in Virginia during a period when conflicts between the colony (and its sister colonies) and Great Britain were growing increasingly heated. Almost always championing the cause of the common man, Henry insisted both that government owed a duty to its citizens and that excessive government threatened individual liberty. With his unparalleled oratorical skills, Henry became a key defender of religious liberty, freedom of speech, and government responsiveness to citizen interests and violently opposed anything that he saw as government tyranny; as such,...

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Patrick Henry (Library of Congress)

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