Henry was an influential leader in the extreme resistance to the British government, but simply accepted the new federal government following the passage of the Bill of Rights, that he was in great measure responsible. With his powerful and enthusiastic addresses, famous patriot Patrick Henry helped kickstart the American Revolution. Unlike his mom, who had strong roots in the area, his dad immigrated to the colony from Scotland.
The 2nd oldest out of nine kids, Henry received much of his education from his dad, who’d attended university in Scotland, and his uncle, an Anglican minister. He was a musical kid, playing the fiddle as well as the flute. He could have modeled his great oratory fashion on the spiritual sermons by his uncle among others. Along with his mom, Henry occasionally attended services held by Presbyterian preachers who visited the region.
In the age of 15, Henry ran a shop for his dad. The company did not last, and Henry had his first taste of failure. Within his wife’s dowry, Henry received some farm land. He attempted growing tobacco there for 3 years, but he did not do well in this new enterprise either. In 1757, Henry and his wife lost their farmhouse into a fire. Then he handled a pub because of his father in law and analyzed to be a lawyer. In 1760, he procured his law license.
As a lawyer, Henry acquired a reputation as a strong and convincing speaker using the 1763 case called “Parson’s Cause.” The Virginia Colony passed a law altering the manner church ministers were paid, leading to a financial loss for the ministers. Henry spoke out from the minister, when the case went to a jury to determine damages. Pointing out the greed and royal hindrance in colonial subjects related to this particular legal conclusion, he was able to convince the jury to give the lowest possible prize—one farthing, or one penny.
Throughout the discussion on the Stamp Act of 1765, which efficiently taxed every kind of printed paper employed by the colonists, Henry spoke out from the measure. He insisted that just the colony itself should manage to impose taxes on its citizens. Some in the assembly cried out that his remarks were treason, but Henry was unfazed. His ideas for managing the issue were printed and spread to other colonies, helping spur on the growing discontent with British rule. An active force in the growing rebellion against Britain, Henry had the extraordinary capability to interpret his political ideology to the language of the common man. There, he met Sam Adams and, collectively, they stoked the fires for revolution. I’m not a Virginian, however an American.”
He was among the attendees of the Virginia Convention in March of 1775. The group was debating the best way to solve the crisis with Great Britain—through force or through peaceful ends. Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be bought in the cost of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! Just a brief time after, the initial shots were fired, as well as the American Revolution was under way. Henry became the commander in chief of Virginia’s forces, however he resigned his place after half a year. Focusing on statesmanship, he helped compose the state’s constitution in 1776.
As governor, Henry supported the revolution in numerous manners. He helped supply soldiers and gear for George Washington. He also sent Virginia troops—controlled by George Rogers Clark—to drive out British forces in the northwest. After three terms as governor, Henry left the place in 1779. He stayed active in politics as an associate of the state assembly.
Henry held strong anti-Federalist perspectives, considering that the powerful federal government would result in the same form of tyranny the colonists had experienced under Britain. In 1787, he turned down an possibility to attend the Constitution Convention in Philadelphia. When it came time for Virginia to ratify the Constitution, Henry spoke out from the file, calling its principles “dangerous.” He believed that it would adversely affect states’ rights. Taking into consideration the powerful support for Henry in Virginia, many Federalists, including James Madison, worried that Henry could achieve success in his anti-Constitution attempts. However, many lawmakers are not swung to Henry’s side, as well as the record was ratified in an 89-to-79 vote.
In 1790, Henry left public service. He made a decision to return to truly being a lawyer, and had a flourishing practice. Over time, Henry received numerous appointments to such places as Supreme Court justice, secretary of state and attorney general, however he turned them all down. He preferred being with his second wife, Dorothea, as well as their many kids, as an alternative to browsing the area of politics. (His first wife had died in 1775, following a conflict with mental illness.) Henry was the father of 17 children between his two unions.
In 1799, Henry was ultimately convinced to run for office. He’d changed political parties through this time, becoming an integral part of the Federalists. In the urging of his buddy, George Washington, Henry fought to get a seat in the Virginia legislature. He won the place, however he did not live long enough to serve. He expired on June 6, 1799, at his Red Hill house. While he never held national office, Patrick Henry is remembered as among the great revolutionary leaders. He’s been called the “Trumpet” and “Voice” of the American Revolution. His strong addresses functioned as a call for rebellion, and his political propositions presented suggestions to get a brand new country.