Patrick Henry's Arguments In The Declaration Of Independence

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In contrast to the literature of the Colonial Period, much of the writing of the eighteenth century was devoted to a single overwhelming subject—the American Revolution. During that time, as words became weapons, Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention,” Thomas Jefferson’s document, The Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Paine’s “Crisis I” pamphlet stand as three influential documents that called for armed defense of the basic rights that the previous generation had sought to define and establish. Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention” strongly advocates for the assumption of a defensive position against the British in Virginia through significant use of emotion and appeals to logic, thereby endorsing the defense …show more content…

Paine integrates multiple invalidations of common concerns which hold the colonists back from action. One, for example, is his hopeful explanation that the British can be overcome by even the weakest of adversaries. After saying that the colonies were late in starting their fight, he gives an anecdote about the ragged French defeating the British in the fifteenth century. This gives support to Paine’s overall argument: all hope is not lost. Additionally, he mentions the name of God multiple times within the pamphlet, implying that he has no doubt of God’s favor with their cause and His disapproval of their enemy. Paine believes “that God Almighty will not give up a people to military destruction…who have so earnestly and so repeatedly sought to avoid the calamities of war….” Their efforts to seek a peaceful end to the current crisis have not been in vain but certainly have been proven ineffective, meaning war is the only remaining option. Later in his writings, Paine brings up the Loyalist issue. Without hesitation, he calls every one of them a coward. He addresses this topic for two reasons: First, he wants to prove that the Loyalists pose no great threat to the colonies, were they to enter into war against Great Britain. Second, he seeks to inspire disgust of these people in the hearts of the colonists, thereby inspiring a greater desire to be rid of the British for good. Paine says “America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion.” The pursuit of happiness is one of the key natural rights stated in The Declaration of Independence. By bringing the matter of happiness into the question, Paine is telling his fellow colonists to take defensive action against the British in an effort to protect their precious natural rights, the basis of their new country. In concluding “Crisis I,” Paine gives a few final incentives

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