KEY SPEECHES IN U. S . HI STORY
Excerpts from Patrick Henry’s Speech
“... I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. “... 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? … 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. “... 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 …We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! “... The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death !” ❝ We must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of hosts is all that is left us! PATR I CK HENRY
Great American Speeches F or more than 200 years, exceptional people have led the United States from its humble beginnings to the country it is today. THE FOLLOWING PAGES include excerpts from some of the greatest speeches in U.S. history. SGAP invites you to travel through time and take a tour of some of our country’s greatest speeches.
Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!” Speech | March 23, 1775 | Richmond, Virginia
On March 23, 1775, shortly before the Revolutionary War began, Patrick Henry made an impassioned plea for a call to arms against the British Empire. For decades, Britain’s King George III had put in place many oppressive policies on the American colonists, who sought freedom from tyranny. In his speech, made at the Second Virginia Convention in Richmond, Henry urged colonists to formmilitias to defend themselves from the British. Henry’s speech persuaded the Convention in his favor, and his words galvanized the march to war against Great Britain.
George Washington’s Farewell Address Sept. 17, 1796 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Note: Visit goo.gl/bSomoA to read the full text of the speech.
In his Farewell Address, George Washington announced that he would not seek a third term as president. Originally published in the “American Daily Advisor” on Sept. 19, 1796, Washington’s remarks provide insight into the mind of our nation’s first president. Because Washington was a strong believer in nonpartisanship and affiliated with no political party, he warns against excessive identification with any one party. He believed this would distract the nation’s government from its true purpose — which is to serve the people. In foreign affairs, he advised Americans to be wary of forming long- term relationships with foreign nations, lest those nations exert undue influence on our country.
“GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH!” was a print published by Currier & Ives in 1876 that depicts Patrick Henry delivering his famous speech on the rights of the colonies before the Virginia Assembly on March 23, 1775.
Note: Visit goo.gl/qSbfkJ to read the full text of Washington’s Farewell Address.
46 | GREAT AMER I CAN SPEECHES
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