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Ever since the first colonist step foot on American soil, there was a rumbling among settlers about their discontent with the British Government. Colonist expressed themselves through public speeches, in closed meetings, through letters and news columns, and finally, as a group, through the Declaration of Independence. All of these communications contained the same complaint against the government of England; The King and Parliament were not listening to complaints from colonist and repeated attempts by colonist work out problems with England were meet with aggression or ignored. One of the most well-known speeches was given by Patrick Henry in 1775. Henry arrived at the 2nd Virginia Convention with a purpose. He presented his famous speech 3 days after they convened. “His proposal was to organize a volunteer company of cavalry or infantry in every Virginia County.” Henry was an eloquent speaker. He spoke to the colonist’s emotions in a persuasive tense. Henry even used strong words when describing previous communications with the throne. He stated that the colonist had “petitioned; remonstrated; supplicated; and prostrated ourselves before the throne”1. He continues by telling the colonist that now there is “nothing left to do but to fight”1. He implied impending doom and enslavement of the colonist by the British Government by stating he could “hear the sound of slavery chains clanking on the planes of Boston”1. Proof of the success, of Henry’s now infamous speech on the colonist, is that his final words “give me liberty or give my death”1 became a battle cry for colonist throughout the war. The next important writing to influence the American Colonist was the Declaration of Independence. It was written... ... middle of paper ... ... the best case for rejecting rule by the King of Great Britain. The article by Paine and speech by Henry are more persuasive and emotionally written. The authors’ of the Declaration of Independence kept emotion and rhetoric out and created a formal legal type document. I feel that persuasion and rhetoric have a place in this world but not when talking to the public about war. It should be done with less emotion and just facts and details. Also, as I have already stated, the Declaration of Independence was written by a group of chosen representatives instead of an individual. It is my belief that a movement such as war should be based on the ideals of a group not an emotionally persuasive speech or writing of one person. WWI is a great example of what can happen when a country is swayed, into war, by one man’s emotional speeches and rhetoric. Don’t you agree?

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