american unity dbq Essay example

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Shoshie Koppel
Mr. Schildkraut
Unity During the American Revolution The American colonists from the period 1750 to 1776, had developed a sense of identity and unity as Americans, to a great extent. There were two distinct ideologies within the colonies; the Tory/Loyalists who were loyal to England and the Rebel/Patriots who wanted independence from England. Both groups were very fervent in their beliefs and ideologies. It is evident, however, that to a great extent, the majority of the colonists were unified in their identity as Americans and in their fervor for independence from England. In Benjamin franklins cartoon entitled "Join or Die," a fragmented snake is shown which represents the fragmented American colonies. This drawing symbolizes the importance of colonial freedom and unity. The message which is conveyed is that the American colonies are in danger if they fail to unite. As Edmund Burke implied while addressing Parliament in 1766, the American colonies had already formed a strong sense of identity, independent of England. Burke could see no reason for Britain to remain in control of a people across a mighty ocean that would never successfully blend into the United Kingdom. A belief that England was plotting wicked violence against the colonies and needed to be stopped, is voiced by Richard Henry Lee to Arthur Lee in 1774. He states "America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum..." One can see support for the forces of unity by noting the contributions for the relief of Boston in 1774 and 1775. This list included five colonies, comprised of several towns, which donated thousands of bushels of grain, cash, livestock, and even a ship. This points to strong support for unity in the colonies. In addition to being unified, the colonists had also developed a strong sense of American identity as evidenced by Letters from an American Farmer, written by Hector St. John Crevecoeur. In these letters, the author describes with pride how individuals from all nations join together and form a new nation, without prejudices, without subordination, and with equality. While it is evident that there was a majority of Americans with a strong sense of identity and unity, this majority was not representative of all colonists. A noted Boston Tory preacher, Mather Byles, argued against leaving England. He felt that politics were the same everywhere and it was preferable to be "ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away" than by "three thousand tyrants not a mile away." In the