As healthcare bill becomes law, Patrick Henry's words ring true again today


Oil painting by George Bagby Matthews1891

Two-hundred and thirty-five years ago, on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry gave a speech to the House of Burgesses, arguing in favor of mobilizing for military action against the encroaching British military force.

Patrick Henry ended his speech with these words, "is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736, in Hanover County, Virginia. A prominent figure in the American Revolution, he is also remembered as one of the Founding Fathers. Patrick Henry, along with Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine was one of the most influential advocates of the American Revolution, and of Republicanism.

Republicanism has been a major part of American civic thought since the American Revolution. It emphasizes liberty and rights as central values, rejects inherited political power, and expects citizens to be independent in their performance of civic duties.

Republicanism denounces the corruption in government officials and his defense of historic rights. The Founding Fathers first practiced Republicanism in the 18th century.

After the Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry became the leader of the Anti-Federalists, who opposed the creation of a strong US federal government.

Patrick Henry died from stomach cancer on June 6, 1799

Ironically, today also marks the day when President Obama signed into law the healthcare reform bill. The federal government now controls our health and our healthcare. Republicans oppose this bill and call it unconstitutional. State Attorney Generals plan to file lawsuits against the federal government once Obama signs the bill into law.

There will be 'Patrick Henry's" all over the country today, who will, like he did in 1775, shout,

"is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!


Peter F. Rothermel's "Patrick Henry Before the Virginia House of Burgesses "1851 .


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