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Virginia For the next half-century these products of the golden age served as leaders successively in the War of Independence in the formation of a new nation based on the new principles of the inalienable rights of man and in governing the republic during its formative years Dowdey 337 The American Revolution spanned about 20 years During these 20 years the colonists of America worked for independence from their mother country Great Britain Virginia contributed leaders politicians military commanders congresses and held battles on their soil Virginia gave the most important contribution during the American Revolution Virginian politicians and leaders proved vital to the American Revolution leaders such as Patrick Henry Thomas Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee In March 1775 Patrick Henry gave his renowned Give me liberty or give me death speech Stokesbury 57 This speech helped spark revolution fever among the colonists Henry attended the Virginia House of Burgess He was also known for his exhilarating and rousing speeches which sparked the Southern Colonies Henry preached anti-British rule slogans during and prior to the Stamp Act and Townsend Acts Whether of not Patrick Henry was a demagogue he exerted a new kind of popular appeal and he had used this appeal to advance himself to a position of military power Dowdey 345 Patrick Henry served a key position in the independence of America Thomas Jefferson was given the duty of writing the Declaration of Independence He wrote it in two days and had it reviewed and proofread by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams Jefferson borrowed many ideas from John Locke a famous English philosopher In the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence it states We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their creator with inherent and inalienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of
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