Ironically, three days ago, March 23, was the 245th anniversary of Patrick Henry’s immortal “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. Without a doubt, this speech is regarded yet today as America’s most famous, most inspiring and most influential oratorical presentation. If there was any doubt that America was going to fight a war for independence from Great Britain, that speech shattered it.
Here are excerpts from that courageous and magnificent address:
The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery.
Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation. I ask, gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motive for it?
If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight!