Patrick Henry

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What attitude does Patrick Henry display towards his opponents at the start of his speech?

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Patrick Henry begins the "Speech in the Virginia Convention" by addressing the leader of the House of Burgesses as "Mr. President" to set a civil and respectful tone.  He goes on to acknowledge the speakers who have just addressed the House, and he praises them for their "patriotism" and "abilities."  The previous speakers had spoken of continuing their commitment to further negotiation with the British ministry and Parliament.  Henry, however, believes that further civil negotiation will not improve the colony's situation, and he points out that "different men often see the same subject in different lights." Henry expresses the hope that no one in attendance will think he is being disrespectful to the people that oppose the ideas he is about to outline, since he is about to advocate war.  He is politely asking for a fair hearing. 

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