Speech to the Virginia Convention Questions and Answers
by Patrick Henry

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Are there any claims in Patrick Henry’s Speech to the Virginia Convention?

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In formal rhetoric there are three types of claims, and Henry's speech contains examples of all of them. 

The first kind of claim is the claim of fact; it is an assertion that something is true or not true.  Henry believed that war between the colonies and Britain was certain to break out in the future, and he makes this claim of fact when he states "the war is inevitable."

A second kind of claim is the claim of value; this is a claim that something is good or bad, desirable or undesirable.  Henry makes a claim of value when he says "there is no retreat but in submission and slavery!" His point is that if the colonies don't declare war against Britain, the people of the colonies will be subjugated, an undesirable state of being.

The third type of claim is the claim of policy.  This claim asserts that a certain course of action is superior to others.  Henry's overall purpose in addressing the House of Burgesses that day was to get others to agree that the colonies should declare a war...

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