transparent portrait of Patrick Henry superimposed on an American flag

Speech to the Virginia Convention

by Patrick Henry

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What was the reaction to Patrick Henry's speech at the Virginia Convention?

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"To Arms, To Arms," was the cry that apparently echoed through the audience after Henry's speech.  Henry was able to articulate the deep seeded colonial rage that existed at the notion of British encroachment.  His speeches and use of rhetoric was aimed at evoking this.  At the same time, Henry was also able to use fear mongering tactics against Native Americans and Slaves.  Henry was able to inject the hatred of the British along side the subterranean fear that the Colonists had towards the Native Americans and Slaves who would rise in opposition towards them.  In focusing Colonial Anger in the speech towards both avenues, the Colonists that heard Henry's words were inspired towards action against anyone, and everyone.  In this light, Henry was able to galvanize people's motivation into action, and in the process received rousing support for his words in the speech to the Virginia Convention.

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