The Virginia Resolves
Jan 01, 2014 | 1438 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

The Virginia Resolves – Jan 2014

Can one person make a difference?  Patrick Henry proposed his Virginia Resolutionsin response to the Stamp Act.  Henry notes the event:

The within resolutions passed the House of Burgesses in May, 1765.  They formed the first opposition to the Stamp Act…  All the colonies, either through fear, or want of opportunity to form an opposition, or from influence of some kind or other, had remained silent.  I had been for the first time elected a Burgess a few days before, was young, inexperienced, unacquainted with the forms of the House, and the members that composed it.  Finding the men of weight averse to opposition, and the commencement of the tax at hand, and that no person was likely to step forth, I determined to venture, and alone, unadvised, and unassisted, on a blank leaf of an old law-book, wrote the [resolutions].

Upon offering them to the House violent debates ensued.  Many threats were uttered, and much abuse cast on me by the party for submission.  After a long and warm contest the resolutions passed by a very small majority, perhaps of one or two only.  The alarm spread throughout America with astonishing quickness, and the… great point of resistance to British taxation was universally established in the colonies.  This brought on the war which finally separated the two countries and gave independence to ours.” -Patrick Henry

"Two or three months ago I thought that this people would submit to the Stamp Act.  Murmurs were indeed continually heard, but they seemed to be such as would die away.  The publishing the Virginia resolutions proved an alarm-bell to the disaffected."  -Sir Francis Bernard, Governor of Massachusetts

James Still,

“Mr. Henry moved and Mr. Johnston seconded these resolutions successively. They were opposed by… all the old members, whose influence in the House had, till then, been unbroken.  They did it… torrents of sublime eloquence from Henry, backed by the solid reasoning of Johnston, prevailed.” -Thomas Jefferson

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