Essay on The Extent of American Unity and Identity

Essay on The Extent of American Unity and Identity

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The Extent of American Unity and Identity

Since early colonization the English colonies had always felt closer
to England than to each other. In fact, it took a British newspaper
less time to reach Savannah than a letter from Massachusetts. However,
after the French and Indian War a sense of unity began to permeate
through the colonies as a result of British acts. For every British
action there was an American reaction, which fed the spirit of a new
identity as Americans, not English colonists. The American identity
was being established in the years before the revolution, but it was
not the majority as some colonists stayed loyal to the King. Events
such as the Albany Plan, Boston Tea Party and the First Continental
Congress were the beginnings of a new nation as united Americans.
These events would eventually lead up to the Revolution when American
colonies would band together and establish themselves independently
among the European world.

As tension rose between the colonists and the French, the first
attempt for colonial union took place in Albany, New York. Seven
colonies met to discuss their common problems such as the Indian
attacks, their colonial militias, and the colonies' boundaries.
Benjamin Franklin proposed the Albany Plan that would unite the
colonies under a central government with a "president general" that
would be appointed by Parliament. There would also be a legislative
body elected by colonial assemblies. Franklin expressed his feeling of
urgent unity with a sketch he published in the Pennsylvania Gazette,
which displayed an almost threatening request to join and adopt the
Albany Plan (Doc. A). With the pr...


... middle of paper ...


...itias, gathering weapons and training men. They
also established the Continental Association which would not trade
with Britain. The American were uniting against there new common foe
and becoming Americans (Doc. C).

In the events that led up to the revolution, a sense of unity was
definitely acquired, but an American identity was not as prevalent.
Although there was a strong opposition to the British government, it
did not represent the entire population of the American colonies. Many
would still be loyal to the King and others would just side with
whoever was winning. The southern colonies were more reluctant to part
for Britain, because they were more reliant on Britain for trade of
their cash crops. This rift in opinions would show itself throughout
the war and even afterward while trying to draft a constitution.

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