In his "Speech to the Virginia Convention," Patrick Henry shares a number of his beliefs regarding the relationship between the 13 colonies and Great Britain. Henry also shares his belief that the proper action the colonists should undertake is to go to war with Great Britain. It is important to note that Henry's position and belief would not necessarily have been that of the majority. While many of his peers were unhappy with British actions, they were not necessarily convinced that military action was necessary at that time.
In his speech, Henry repeatedly brings forth the argument that attempts by the colonists to petition the British government to address their grievances have been ignored. This is evidenced in the following excerpt from Henry's speech:
Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.
Furthermore, Henry also makes it clear in the above excerpt that he feels there is no more room for hope regarding changes coming about from further petitions. He believes that greater action must be taken.
Henry also promotes his belief that the arrival of increased British forces in the colonies is intended for no reason other than to suppress and subjugate the colonists. He points out that the British do not have any enemies in this part of the world and that the arriving armies and navies are intended for the colonists. He sees this as a threat to their rights, freedom, and well-being.
Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation—the last arguments to which kings resort. 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 motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?
No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.
Henry also seeks to express his belief that the colonists must act now. He feels that they are strong enough to fight against the British and that waiting for a future time is not the best approach. He argues that waiting may give the British time to better occupy the colonies and disarm them. He states that inaction will not bring about the change that is sought.