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    Guinness World Record Holder for largest book signing ever, Orrin Woodward is a NY Times bestselling author of And Justice For All along with RESOLVED & coauthor of LeaderShift and Launching a Leadership Revolution. His books have sold over one million copies in the financial, leadership and liberty fields. RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions For LIFE made the Top 100 All-Time Best Leadership Books and the 13 Resolutions are the framework for the top selling Mental Fitness Challenge personal development program.

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Patrick Henry: Patriot Hero

Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 28, 2013

Modern Interpretation of Patrick Henry

Modern Interpretation of Patrick Henry

Patrick Henry, during the Revolutionary War, was considered one of the Top 5 leaders in Colonial America. Indeed, he was several times the governor of the largest State (Virginia), the most powerful speaker in any assembly, and a man of unquestioned character and rectitude. His love of freedom made him stand at the front of the line when England threatened the liberty of the states.  His most famous line, “Give me liberty or give me death,” has fanned the flames of freedom around the world.

Interestingly, something changed after America’s victory over England. First, Patrick Henry refused to go to Philadelphia to participate in the Constitutional Convention saying, “He smelled a rat.” Second, Henry quickly joined forces with George Mason, Richard Henry Lee, George Clinton, and others in resisting the new proposed government. Although Patrick Henry felt changes should be made to the Articles of Confederation, he felt a total rewrite was unnecessary and a dangerous innovation.

In consequence, the same man, who several decades before, was the brightest star at the birth of the revolution for supporting liberty against oppressive taxation and arbitrary government force, now was publicly castigated, belittled, and shoved aside, for daring to speak out on the dangers he saw in the new government for oppressive taxation and arbitrary government force. In other words, when Patrick Henry spoke of liberty against English oppression, his support was heartily supported, but when he spoke of the same dangers in the new proposed government, he was severely criticized.

Patrick Henry understood human nature as well as any of the founders. In truth, his objections were valid and America today is suffering from all of the concerns, and more, that Henry expressed in the Virginia Ratification debates. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and Patrick Henry defended liberty even at the price of his esteemed reputation, career advancement, and lasting legacy. Truth is truth and when one is afraid to speak truth, when so much is at stake, one becomes a coward. Patrick Henry was no coward.

Unfortunately, Henry, although seeing the problem with the current proposal, did not suggest a workable alternative. In politics, one of the oldest dictums is, “You can’t beat something with nothing,” and even Henry’s leadership could not overcome this law. Nonetheless,  he fought to add a Bill of Rights (thankfully for America he won here), stronger states checks on federal government to resist consolidation (centralization), and stronger checks on the taxing power because he felt the power to tax was the power to control.

Oliver DeMille and I share in LeaderShift a proposal to address each of these concerns and more. Knowing that we cannot beat something with nothing, we proposed a workable alternative to the runaway inflation, debts, and federal consolidation. For instance, placing real limits on the power to tax, forbidding government to print fiat money, and decentralizing leadership away from Washington to the state and local levels. Instead of endless complaining about what’s wrong, perhaps it’s time to start doing something that is right. This is the LeaderShift! I have attached just a portion of one speech he made at the Virginia Ratification Debates that Patrick Henry gave in defense of  liberty over tyranny.

Sincerely,

Orrin Woodward: LIFE Leadership 

When I asked that question, I thought the meaning of my interrogation was obvious. The fate of this question and of America may depend on this. Have they said, We, the states? Have they made a proposal of a compact between states? If they had, this would be a confederation. It is otherwise most clearly a consolidated government.

The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America. I need not take much pains to show that the principles of this system are extremely pernicious, impolitic, and dangerous. Is this a monarchy, like England a compact between prince and people, with checks on the former to secure the liberty of the latter? Is this a confederacy, like Holland an association of a number of independent states, each of which retains its individual sovereignty? It is not a democracy, wherein the people retain all their rights securely.

Had these principles been adhered to, we should not have been brought to this alarming transition, from a confederacy to a consolidated government. We have no detail of these great considerations, which, in my opinion, ought to have abounded before we should recur to a government of this kind. Here is a resolution as radical as that which separated us from Great Britain. It is radical in this transition; our rights and privileges are endangered, and the sovereignty of the states will be relinquished: and cannot we plainly see that this is actually the case?

The rights of conscience, trial by jury, liberty of the press, all your immunities and franchises, all pretensions to human rights and privileges, are rendered insecure, if not lost, by this change, so loudly talked of by some, and inconsiderately by others. Is this tame relinquishment of rights worthy of freemen? Is it worthy of that manly fortitude that ought to characterize republicans?

It is said eight states have adopted this plan. I declare that if twelve states and a half had adopted it, I would, with manly firmness, and in spite of an erring world, reject it. You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your government.

Having premised these things, I shall, with the aid of my judgment and information, which, I confess, are not extensive, go into the discussion of this system more minutely.

Is it necessary for your liberty that you should abandon those great rights by the adoption of this system? Is the relinquishment of the trial by jury and the liberty of the press necessary for your liberty? Will the abandonment of your most sacred rights tend to the security of your liberty? Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else!

But I am fearful I have lived long enough to become an old-fashioned fellow. Perhaps an invincible attachment to the dearest rights of man may, in these refined, enlightened days, be deemed old-fashioned; if so, I am contented to be so. I say, the time has been when every pulse of my heart beat for American liberty, and which, I believe, had a counterpart in the breast of every true American; but suspicions have gone forth suspicions of my integrity publicly reported that my professions are not real. Twenty-three years ago was I supposed a traitor to my country? I was then said to be the bane of sedition, because I supported the rights of my country.

I may be thought suspicious when I say our privileges and rights are in danger. But, sir, a number of the people of this country are weak enough to think these things are too true. I am happy to find that the gentleman on the other side declares they are groundless. But, sir, suspicion is a virtue as long as its object is the preservation of the public good, and as long as it stays within proper bounds: should it fall on me, I am contented: conscious rectitude is a powerful consolation. I trust there are many who think my professions for the public good to be real. Let your suspicion look to both sides. There are many on the other side, who possibly may have been persuaded to the necessity of these measures, which I conceive to be dangerous to your liberty.

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

24 Responses to “Patrick Henry: Patriot Hero”

  1. Chad Waters said

    Hi Orrin!

    Always thought provoking articles. Time for a LeaderShift! Let’s not loose the battle!

  2. Abraham said

    What a great blog. Thank you for taking the time and effort in making such pertinent history once again “public knowledge”. It is quite amazing that such things have been spoken and yet how sad that the momentum of public opinion seemingly quieted the truth. What a great and fierce comparison to our times now. Much truth being spoken but too few are listening or caring about it.

    I love that LIFE stands to tell and engroup the people once again. Thank you for all that you are doing, everything you have done and presumably all that will be done. May God continue to bless our efforts to speak and stand for Truth.

  3. Paul Elliott said

    Hi Orrin,

    I am right in the middle of yours and Oliver’s book and I am having a hard time to put it down. The way you pulled it together with a story of David is amazing. Good job to you guys for sharing you thoughts and views on these very important matters! I like when you said in your blog “Patrick Henry was no coward”, your in the same category! Thumbs up!

  4. Kirk Birtles said

    Orrin… love the historical references and definitive plan to bring liberty back to America. As Patrick Henry said, ‘Liberty should be the direct end of our government’. A LEADERSHIFT is underway!!! BBNQ

    • Kevin Hamm said

      I’m with Kirk, Orrin,

      I loved the same quote that he selected. It seems many feel our basic local needs are better met by a would be omniscient central government. I love the proposal of having the greater weight of the money with the local governments. It will take a lot of influence to pull the purse strings away from the Fed. So abundant are the games that can be played by the use of fiat. For all of its evil, the purchasing of Mortgage securities was a brilliant way for the Fed to acquire real estate assets by fiat with the commoner blindly standing by, not even understanding what is happening. Let the Leadershift begin!

  5. scott russell said

    Great post brother Orrin!! The only way to have a true “freedomshift” is to have a full out Leadershift!!!!

  6. Heidi said

    Orrin,

    Thanks for all the history lessons. The kids and I went over the Westward Expansion and Civil War period this past year….and the Revolutionary War the year before, but we totally missed the Constitutional Convention and all the stuff that went on in that period. Now it seems that was pivotal. Thanks again!

  7. Dean said

    Great post! Leadershift is opening peoples minds to the fact that there is hope and a plan for a better America. Thanks for leading the way!

  8. Tim McNeil said

    Orrin,
    In the late ’50s when in grade school, I first learned of the Patriot, Patrick Henry. The close of his “Liberty or Death” speech always inspired me and in recent years I have learned more detail of his most famous oratory. Your blog today, has further enlightened me on just how important his dedication to America was. I know you to be a Leader of Mr Henry’s quality and to that end, I’ll remain a humble follower.
    Tim
    (Incedently, Mr Henry and I shared the same month and day of birth.)

  9. Great article!

  10. Bill Eder said

    Thank you once again Orrin. The American people need to hear the history that made this the great “Republic” that it became. Yes as Ben Franklin said a republic if you can keep it. Leadershift is long over do. Love the lessons you give us.

  11. virginia karas said

    http://www.hulu.com/watch/PARK AVE: Money,Power and the American Dream DOCUMENTARY

  12. Elizabeth Sieracki said

    Proud to be one of the many “old-fashioned fellows” believing that things must change and we all must work towards a Leadershift!

  13. Rob Robson said

    Wow! “The question turns, sir, on that poor little thing the expression, We, the people, instead of the states, of America.” I never thought of the implications of that word. Very profound.

  14. Richard Kroll Jr. said

    Well said Orrin! “You can’t beat something with nothing”… yet talk show personalities, political pundits, and posts on social media are replete with people stating the obvious- our country is “in trouble” and “something” must be done. But no one is proposing ANSWERS… SOLUTIONS…until you and Oliver in your book LeaderShift!

    Well written. Well said. Now the only thing is for the 10% to get up and DO!!!

  15. MARIO VEGA said

    THE WATCHMEN ON THE WALL IS WHO GETS THINGS GOING, IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AT THE RIGHT TIME. THANK YOU ORRIN AND OLIVER FOR BEING OUR WATCHMEN. LIBERATORS.

  16. Jason Dames said

    Wow!!! Patrick Henry was an incredible leader.. This article inspires me to want to learn more about his life!!

  17. CJ Calvert said

    Great article Orrin, thanks!

  18. Don Schultz, Team VIP Phalanx said

    orrin, I remember a statement you made on an audio one time about “anytime you try to do something great there will be great opposition and the greater the mission the more skepticm and resistance there will be” (Schultz rendition).

    Patrick Henry certainly received his share of opposition. That reminds me of Winston Churchill who after having served Great Britian through extremely difficult times of WWII, the people quickly forgot his leadership and cast him aside.

    I like the statement you made in the article; “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance and Patrick Henry defended liberty even at the price of his esteemed reputation, career advancement, and lasting legacy. Truth is truth and when one is afraid to speak truth, when so much is at stake, one becomes a coward. Patrick Henry was no coward.”

    May we all be men such as this.

  19. John Lewis said

    Sadly, another hero that most don’t know about. Thanks for the post, Orrin.

  20. Amy A said

    I’ve always felt a connection with Patrick Henry, and have always named him as my favorite founding father (Do people have favorite founding fathers?) Perhaps it is because I share his birth date (which was yesterday, May 29th, by the way). My mom even tells me that we are descendant from him! When you came to Pennsylvania and gave us a talk on Henry, it was like you gave me an early birthday present! So, thanks!
    Amy

  21. Pam Green said

    Can you tell me to whom Henry is referring when he says: “No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House.”?
    I am inferring that this gentleman must have spoken immediately before Henry’s famous speech.

    • Orrin Woodward said

      Pam, I believe it was Edward Randolph, but I will have to dig out the speech again to be certain. He had refused to sign constitution in Philadelphia, but then was persuaded by Washington to support its ratification. Lo and behold, he became the first US Attorney General appointed by Washington after defeating Henry and the other Anti-Federalist. Things that make you go hmm. 🙂 thanks, Orrin

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