Chevron Left
Back to Patrick Henry: Forgotten Founder

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Patrick Henry: Forgotten Founder by University of Virginia

4.9
stars
162 ratings

About the Course

“Give me liberty, or give me death:” Remembering Patrick Henry, the Forgotten Founder Patrick Henry was enormously popular during the American Revolution. Even Thomas Jefferson, who over time developed a deep loathing of Henry (some would say jealousy), had to admit that “it is not now easy to say what we should have done without Patrick Henry.” Edmund Randolph, a patriot leader in his own right, explained that “It was Patrick Henry … awakening the genius of his country, and binding a band of patriots together to hurl defiance at the tyranny of so formidable a nation as Great Britain.” Yet, today, Patrick Henry is ill-remembered; most Americans might recall at best perhaps a snippet from a famous speech: “give me liberty, or give me death.” The reasons for our historic forgetfulness are several: after the Revolution, Henry chose to oppose ratification of the U.S. Constitution, believing that it created a distant and too-powerful government, and he refused proffered position in George Washington’s administration, diminishing his historic memory. Equally important, Henry died in 1799 shortly after a political campaign in which, at Washington’s behest, he opposed Jefferson’s and James Madison’s ill-advised radical states’ rights attack on the U.S. government, and Jefferson spent the next twenty-six years systematically attacking Henry’s legacy. Patrick Henry, who helped to ignite a revolution, deserves better. This course will explore how he over¬came challenges to reach the pinnacle of Virginia politics and unite Americans behind a challenge to Britain – the eighteenth century’s super-power, why he opposed the U.S. Constitu¬tion, and why he then came out of retirement to defend the people’s Constitution against the attacks of Jefferson and Madison. Participants should evaluate Henry’s role in proclaiming a revolution and consider whether he had an equally important role in saving it. The course should also develop an improved appreciation for the complex political, economic, and religious forces that shaped the early republic. As a biographical course, it also demonstrates how personalities play an important role in even the most foundational national history. Image Attribution: The background image for this webpage is Patrick Henry before the Virginia House of Burgesses by Peter F. Rothermel (1851) with special thanks to the owner, the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation. The painting of Patrick Henry's 1765 "Caesar had his Brutus" speech (discussed in the second lecture) is entirely romanticized -- neither Henry nor the House of Burgesses looked at all like this -- but it does show that hagiography of Henry, almost god-like veneration, began shortly after this death....

Top reviews

LM

Jun 30, 2019

Excellent course for anyone interested in American History. Enjoyable lectures. Loved that some of the lectures were filmed at the actual location. Easy to understand. Highly recommend.

HH

Apr 5, 2020

This was a wonderful course! Dr. Ragosta was knowledgable, and his lectures interesting and engaging. This course should be required viewing for anyone studying American history!

Filter by:

51 - 75 of 89 Reviews for Patrick Henry: Forgotten Founder

By Janice O

Apr 26, 2020

By JOHN Q

Jul 5, 2017

By Jamie P

Jun 20, 2019

By Clarke S

Jan 7, 2021

By Joseph B

Aug 4, 2017

By Don D

Aug 16, 2020

By John C L

Jul 3, 2020

By Adam L

Aug 7, 2017

By John C

Aug 1, 2022

By earl b

Sep 19, 2021

By Howard S B

Jan 12, 2022

By Dutch G

Nov 17, 2021

By Donette C

Sep 21, 2020

By Kathy A M

May 15, 2022

By Rick C

Mar 19, 2021

By Sharon S

Apr 3, 2018

By Robert B

Jan 30, 2018

By jennifer d

Jun 22, 2020

By Barbara S

Jan 3, 2021

By Maria C F L

Aug 31, 2020

By Patricia H

Dec 29, 2020

By Marek D

Jun 16, 2019

By kevin p

Dec 27, 2021

By Peyton R W

May 25, 2021

By Sam S

May 1, 2020