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Speeches throughout history that inspired action (part 1)

Want to motivate yourself as a public speaker? Read motivational speeches that inspired action.

This is part one of a five-part series showcasing speeches throughout history that changed the world.  

SPEECH: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

SPEECH DATE: March 23, 1775

SPEAKER: Patrick Henry

BIG IDEA: We can no longer hope for peaceful reconciliation with the British. The time has come to fight against British troops occupying this land so we can secure our freedom.

HOW IT INSPIRED ACTION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Henry’s speech sparked the American Revolution, which led to America’s independence from Great Britain and a new country founded on a new set of beliefs: that all people are created equal, and that they have fundamental rights such as liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law and freedom of assembly.


“Gentlemen may cry, ‘Peace, Peace,’ but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”