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Patrick Henry's "Speech to the Virginia Convention"

Patrick Henry's "Speech to the Virginia Convention"

Author: Anna Viss


Students will analyze Patrick Henry's Speech in the Virginia Convention, using text evidence to identify purpose and themes.

Common Core State Standards

RL.11-12.1: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RL.11-12.2: Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

 RL.11-12.6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.

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Youtube Reenactment

Source: Gibson, Randy. “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” YouTube, YouTube, 15 Feb. 2010,

Historical Background, and the Full Text

Source: “Patrick Henry's ‘Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death’ Speech.” Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" Speech : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site,

Age of Reason Themes

Podcast Study Guide