Read full version essay To What Extent Had The Colonists Developed A Sense Of Their Identity And Unity As Americans By The Eve Of The Revolution? Use Documents And Your Knowledge Of The Period 1750 To 1776 To Answer The Question.

To What Extent Had The Colonists Developed A Sense Of Their Identity And Unity As Americans By The Eve Of The Revolution? Use Documents And Your Knowledge Of The Period 1750 To 1776 To Answer The Question.

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Category: American History

Autor: anton 09 March 2011

Words: 573 | Pages: 3

By the eve of the revolution, predominately between 1750 to 1776, the colonists struggled to develop a sense of identity and unity. Parliament began making laws that the colonists did not agree with. In order for the colonists to live how they wanted, they had to make changes; they had to break away from their “Mother Country.”

Seen in the illustration in Document A, propagandists predicted the outcome of the revolution about 20 years before the actual event. “Join or Die” expressed the overwhelming need of unification between the colonists.

Passing regulations such as the Sugar Act, Stamp Act Intolerable Act and the Townshend Act was an inter-colonial grievance against Parliament. The colonies began boycotting and protesting British goods. To protest the Tea Act a group of whites got together, dressed as Indians and dumped chests of tea into the Boston Harbor. (Boston Tea Party). Parliament shut down the Boston Harbor until damages were paid for. The news spread to other colonies from Connecticut to South Carolina. They donated goods such as “ a small flock of sheep, 40 bushels of grain…Ј2000 and a ship load of rice.” (Document G) Not only did the colonists exemplify unity with the “Donations for the Relief of Boston,” but also with the organization of the Albany Congress, the Stamp Act Congress and the Continental Congress.

Creating an identity was a greater challenge the colonist encountered. “What then is the American,” John Crevecoeur states in Document H. Edmund Burke states the pertinent problem that the colonists was governed in the same way of the English. He believed the British Empire was superior to any other and that made them stand out as a whole. (Document B) The Americans saw themselves totally different. They believed they were different from other people not because of supremacy but by diversity. “ I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was an Englishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman…He is an American.” (Document H).

Even though various colonies identified themselves as Americans by the time of the revolution they weren’t completely unified because some people remained loyal to the King. A loyalist, Mather Byles, stated in Document D his attitude about the situation. “They may call me a brainless Tory; but tell me, my young friend, which is better, to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants not a mile away.” The loyalists did not want to break away from an already stable government and society. They did not understand why the colonists went from obedience to rebellion. “And why was the sudden transition made from Obedience to Rebbellion, but to gratifye the Pride, Ambition, and Resentment of a few abandoned Demagogues who were lost to all sense of Shame and Humanity.” (Document F). The loyalists put a halt to what could have been inter-colonial unity.

By the early 1770s the colonists have found their sense of unity and identity. The colonists also developed their identity by realizing they had the right to be free from British rule. “…all N. America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away.” (Document C) The Americans finally had the strength to fight in the wars and become independent “being with one mind resolved to die freemen, rather than live [like] slaves. (Document E)

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