American's Identity By Eve Of Revolution

American's Identity By Eve Of Revolution

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By the eve of Revolution, predominately during 1750 to 1776, colonists' sense of identity and unity though fragile was still distinct enough that war eventually became the only option against their mother country.
With previous turmoil in Great Britain, the colonies in North America had flourished early on due to salutary neglect and developed characteristics which soon defined Americans. An eventual conflict leading up to the revolution would be the drastic contrast between Britain and its colonies. Britain, an Old World country, had for centuries held onto their way of living and prided themselves on being Englishmen hence when faced with the fact that their much "inferior" counterpart have became "either an European, or the descendant of an European" British authorities intervene and catalyst what soon to be the birth- or rather the formal introduction- of a new man; "He is an American… from the new mode of life he has embraced…". This mode of life, recognizably the American way of life, was a land of opportunity and equality for all. There was no real social hierarchy, aristocrats were few, and because of human freedom sentiments (mainly founded in the outspoken Middle colonies) America was unlike anything known in Europe.

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The cultural fusion undergoing in North America (specifically the colonies) changed not only a people's way of living, but also their views on politics and how one should govern and be governed. Unlike the very powerful parliament in Britain and monarchies in most of Europe, the colonies developed a highly democratic mindset which thrived from isolation of Old Worlds' interest. As early as 1620, North America's soil has already witnessed what would be "precedent for [the] later written constitutions" called the Mayflower Compact. Soon, town meetings arose in communities of New England, plantations down South and a blend of the two in the Middle colonies. Virginia, where Jamestown was settled, experienced the first legislative body known in the New World- the House of Burgesses. This form of representative self-government, though its decision was subject to veto, highlights the limited-monarchy already present in the premature colonies. Another bases for modern democracy was found in very religious New England where spiritual leaders could not hold office, a foundation for the separation of church and state. These ideals were left untouched for so long that during the eve of Revolution, involvement of Great Britain and its parliament left colonists appalled and offended. By 1766, Americans have already felt separate, though not quite completely independent from Great Britain, that they believe there is not "a single Trait of Resemblance between [Britain]… and growing people spread a vast quarter of the globe".
Despite the fact that the colonies agree on their differences with their mother country, they were certainly not a united front before and even some time after the Revolution. Through all the differences within the colonies and the natural barriers which fence certain groups from one another, cultural collision was bound to happen when the time arose for the colonies to unite. This was most apparent during the French and Indian war when the colonies failed to show any cooperation to defend itself from attacks. In a desperate attempt to achieve colonial unity, the intercolonial congress in Albany, New York was summoned by the British government headed by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin contributed a well-devised scheme for colonial home rule but was denied by the colonists proving Franklin's observation: "all people agreed the need for union but… were perfectly distracted when they attempted to agree on details". In his Pennsylvania Gazette, Franklin published an infamous cartoon showing the eventual outcome of disunity within the colonies- separation of parts which make a body whole. By 1754, the colonists showed to some extent a kind of unity but again, their differences were too much to overcome at that point. Later on closer to 1776, colonist began to come together for a common goal- their resentment of Parliament taxing without colonial approval. During a rebellion against the much hated tea act, notorious Boston suffered severe punishment from parliament; these acts were called the "Intolerable Acts" that closed Boston's harbors, town meetings, and many of the chartered rights of colonial Massachusetts. With these acts implemented, the rest of the colonies responded by surprisingly sending "Donations for the Relief of Boston". Colonies even as far as South Carolina sent shiploads of rice to its fellow colony. This colonial-wide mentality was the cause of summoning the Continental Congress which is followed by the Second Continental Congress where independence, though not popular, became the only solution.
In their differences, the colonists found similarities and a common ground; they were a hybrid of people strong-willed and privileged with rights too precious to surrender even when faced with separation for their parent country.
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