What Is the Purpose of Patrick Henry’s Speech?

Patrick Henry delivered his “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death” speech with the purpose of freeing Virginia from British colonial rule. Delivered in 1775, Patrick Henry’s speech has since been recognized as one of the most pivotal speeches in world history.

The speech took place at a church in Virginia on March 23, 1775, according to both Totally History and Yale Law School. It served as a response to Britain’s actions toward colonies in the American isles. Patrick Henry viewed the influence of the British as a threat to the freedom of the American people and rejected all the claims the British made to justify their reasons for colonizing the Americas. As a patriot, Patrick Henry believed that the British empire was leeching from his country and that American citizens were given no choice but to accept their role as being subordinate to the domineering British colonial rule.

The purpose of the speech was to mobilize the residents of Virginia into taking action against the British rule and to convince the state of Virginia that they could never achieve peace in any circumstances. The speech inspired many people to take sides with Patrick Henry’s political ideologies and ushered in a wave of patriotism that influenced the course of American history.