Patrick Henry and the Constitution

In addition to Thomas Jefferson, another Virginian, Patrick Henry was opposed to ratification of the newly proposed Constitution. As the Constitution went around to the various States for adoption, the States held their own conventions to approve or reject it.

In the Virginia Convention, which lasted 23 days, Patrick Henry spoke in opposition on 18 of those days. One day he made 8 different speeches. And he was quite an orator, as you know from his “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. People listened to him. However the rational arguments were on the side of fellow Virginian, James Madison.

So eventually, obtaining a promise from Madison that he would introduce some amendments to satisfy Henry’s major objections, Patrick agreed to be a peaceable citizen and vote for adoption of the Constitution.

Those promised amendments became our Bill of Rights. The first 10 amendments. Jefferson and Henry wanted more written protections for the individual rights of all American citizens. Aren’t you glad.

I don’t believe they went far enough as I explain in my new book: “A Patriot Imprisoned” which will be introduced soon. Look for it.

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