This phrase, which is sometimes incorrectly credited to Voltaire, is frequently used to express the notion of free speech. It was first published in 1772 in The Works of Voltaire, edited by A. J. Quesnay (London: Thomas Tegg and Co.). The quotation is taken from p. 394 of that work.
Patrick Henry treated the opponents with dignity and respect. In his lecture, Jesus highlights the importance of fighting for the truth and God's will. His "Give me Liberty or Give me Death!" speech is founded on his idea that enslavement is the only option to fighting (meaning British rule).
In addition, Patrick Henry fought for freedom with wisdom and logic. He used historical examples to prove his points and ended up becoming one of the most important figures in American history.
Voltaire's infamous quote was actually written by Frederick the Great of Prussia. It is often attributed to Voltaire because of its apparent similarity to one of his other quotes: "I may despise what you do, but I would be a slave not to respect your right to do it."
Voltaire hated what King Louis XVI of France was doing to his country and he expressed this in several writings, including his famous book "Candide". In that work, he mocked the idea of people being punished for their thoughts alone without acting on them.
Frederick the Great had some serious problems with his own government. At the time, Germany was divided up into many small states who would sometimes go to war with each other. So when they signed a peace treaty, they would usually include some kind of clause that if either party broke it, the treaty would be back on again. This made it difficult for Frederick the Great to keep his troops in Europe since there were always wars going on between different countries.
So when these words are heard today, they aren't really saying anything new.
Quotes about "Truth Hurts"
"Give me liberty or give me death!" is a quote ascribed to Patrick Henry from a speech he delivered to the Second Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. The phrase is commonly taken to be a warning against tyranny and a plea for freedom. It has been cited as an example of Paine's ability to inspire with eloquent phrases.
It is possible that someone could have said this before Henry spoke, but it was not common knowledge at the time. What is known about Henry's attitude toward liberty is contained in his own words: "We are told that we must yield up our arms, our swords, our guns; that we are granted an unconditional surrender. I tell you that in my opinion and belief there is no such thing as absolute surrender, and if there were, I would scorn to take advantage of it."
It is also possible that someone might have said something similar before Paine wrote "The first thing we do when we are born is to cry 'liberty,'" but it was not common knowledge at the time. In any case, Paine certainly did not invent these words, nor was he even the first person to use them.