In his "Speech to the Virginia Convention," what beliefs does Henry share with his audience?

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Even though Henry was one of the few advocating for outright war with Britain in his "Speech in the Virginia Convention," all in attendance would have agreed that changes needed to be made in the relationship between the American colonies and their sovereign.

When Henry cites examples of what the colonies had already tried in their negotiations with Britain, he expresses their shared belief that the colonies had been civil and reasonable in their previous approaches.

"We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the tyrannical hands of the ministry and parliament."

Though "prostrating" themselves was a bit hyperbolic, Henry did make a point that his supporters and critics both believed: the colonies had a decade-long history of trying to resolve differences diplomatically.

Both Henry and his audience believed that future violence between the colonies and Britain was inevitable because there had already, by March of 1775 when he delivered the speech, been armed conflict in Boston. Henry alludes to it near the end of the speech: "Our brethren are already in the field!"

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Speech to the Virginia Convention

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