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Word Count: 1,390
Fighting the War of Words The American Revolution 1760- 1800 was not only a war of weapons but also one of words Along with swords and guns the war was fought with pamphlets speeches and documents in order to inspire and justify the long awaited battle Intellectuals such as Patrick Henry Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson became important figures of the Revolution due to their literary accomplishments Henrys Speech in the Virginia Convention convinced the House of Burgesses that war was inevitable Paine reached the common people through The Crisis Number 1 and sparked an inspiration for war Jefferson justified and announced the war through The Declaration of Independence By appealing to the emotions of the different Revolutionary audiences Henry Paine and Jefferson made essential contributions to the war using speeches and documents as powerful weapons Patrick Henry made a profound speech to the Virginian Convention as the Revolutionary War drew near His main purpose in the speech was to convince the convention that war was inevitable He challenged their beliefs and evoked emotion through his argument In the beginning of his speech Henry asked Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation 90 This rhetorical question asked if Britain was building up its armies and navies for the sake of peace Of course Henry knew the opposite was true The British were preparing for war with the colonies and it was Henrys intention to convince the convention that the war had already begun Henry also used repetition when he asked shall we try argument shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplications 91 By his use of repetition Henry convinced the convention that America has already tried negotiating with Britain over the injustice and suggested that nothing else can be done to prevent the war Henrys purpose for writing became apparent toward the end of the speech when he said we must fight and the war is begun 92
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