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Although resigned from the American Military he still gave General Washington his full support, and authorized the invasion of Illinois by George Rogers Clark.After the death of his first wife he soon remarried then retired, but several times he was called back into public service.After a long debate, including great eloquence on the part of Henry, the bill was passed.
British troops were sent to the colonies to enforce the new taxes.
Debate raged throughout the country, and again Patrick Henry would rise to lead the nation.
When the Constitution was returned, he saw his worst fears as realized.
He took leadership of those fighting the ratification of the Constitution in Virginia.
He rose to defend resolutions he had put forward to organize the colony’s militia for possible war against Great Britain. The resolution was adopted, and Henry’s speech went out to the rest of the nation.
He concluded with these now world famous words: Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! He was one of the first to argue that war with England was unavoidable.
He never used his fists or guns to fight for his country, but he used a much more powerful weapon at which he held great skill: his words.
Possibly the greatest orator of his time, his speeches such as " Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" struck a cord in the American spirit of those who opposed oppression and tyranny.
Earlier in 1765 the British Parliament had passed the Stamp Act, putting a tax on the American colonies to pay for the debts contracted in the French and Indian War.
The colonists believed that this tax violated their rights of self government, but little real action had been taken.