Henry_1788 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History Center Sources of Freedom: Patrick Henry on the Bill of Rights (June 16, 1788) In this speech to Virginia's ratifying convention, the fiery orator Patrick Henry railed against the "absurdity" of not including a Bill of Rights with the Constitution. What did Henry feel might happen if rights were not explicitly reserved for the people of America? What governments did he say had encroached on their citizens' rights because they lacked such protections? Why was he doubtful about the intentions and actions of the new democratic government of the United States? [ 16 June ] I observed already, that the sense of the European nations, and particularly Great-Britain, is against the construction of rights being retained, which are not expressly relinquished. I repeat, that all nations have adopted this construction--That all rights not expressly and unequivocally reserved to the people, are impliedly and incidentally relinquished to rulers; as necessarily inseparable from the delegated powers. It is so in Great-Britain: For every possible right which is not reserved to the people by some express provision or compact, is within the King's prerogative. It is so in that country which is said to be in such full possession of freedom. It is so in Spain, Germany, and other parts of the world. Let us consider the sentiments which have been entertained by the people of America on this subject. At the revolution, it must be admitted, that it was their sense to put down those great rights which ought in all countries to be held inviolable and sacred. Virginia did so we all remember. She made a compact to reserve, expressly, certain rights. When fortified with full, adequate, and abundant representation, was she satisfied with that representation? No.--She most cautiously and guardedly
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This note was uploaded on 12/16/2011 for the course AMH 2041 taught by Professor Mungary during the Fall '11 term at FIU.

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Henry_1788 - Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History...

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