"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 inaliena... Continues...