The reason speeches are being made is that the townspeople are trying to decide what to do with the intelligence that the British Army is coming to invade Concord and steal the supplies of ammunition.
Adam is a very intelligent young man. His story takes place during a difficult time at the start of the American Revolution. Before long, trouble is brewing. After a messenger comes to tell them that the British are on their way to Concord to take over the stockpile of ammunitions there, the people of the town gather to share their views on the war and what they should do.
Wanting to know what is going on but not able to attend the meeting, Adam soon knows everything that happened by listening to his father’s report to his mother. The townspeople are not sure whether they should be using force by raising a militia (the village had 116 weapons), deciding later by talking to elders in the church, or just ignoring it because it probably “much ado about nothing.” Adam notes that his father shared his own perspective.
Father hated guns and only accepted them as a burden we had to bear; closer to his heart was this war of ideas at a time of decision. I think he deeply believed that if you could win an argument, you could win a war. (Ch. 3, p. 30)
Why did so many people make speeches? Because getting involved in the revolution was a huge decision. It was not something to be taken lightly. No matter what they decided, they had no way of knowing the outcome so there would definitely a risk.
In the end, all of the speeches represent different perspectives on the American Revolution. It was not as simple as everyone jumping out and rebelling. Some people felt as each of the different speakers at the meeting felt, and the summary of the arguments captures the viewpoints that would have existed among villagers at that time.