Identity: American Revolution and Colonies Essay

Submitted By niki1111
Words: 835
Pages: 4

By the eve of the revolution American colonies developed a strong sense of an Identity as Americans and as a united force, fighting for a common goal.

From 1650 till the revolution American colonies were under the Navigation Act which was part of the Mercantile system , they supplied their mother country with raw materials , later used to produce manufactured goods. This brought money in to the treasury and provided great Brittan with balance of trade. Even though the navigation act was written on paper it wasn’t really followed since it was hard to enforce these laws. This was known as the salutary neglect.

The colonies began to develop a new sense of identity and different customs than their mother country. For example, each colony had a legislative and a governor who controlled the colonies affairs; there was no profound centralized government.
As the time passed by the colonies grew more and more distinct from Britain . But the extreme turning point that showed all these changes was the French Indian war which occurred between 1754-1763.
After the French Indian war it was visible how Americans interpreted words differently then Britain.
Since Britain had a great deficit, they taxed their colonies to reduce it. They leaned on the fact that it was constitutional since the parliament had decided it. But as for
Americans they defined the “constitution” differently. For them the constitution was all the laws that were written as documents, word for word. This also clashed with the representation. The colonies insisted that there’s “no taxation without representation” and there was no representation of the colonies in the parliament and they aren’t a part of Britain and cannot “blend in the mass of the kingdom”, even nature separated the two nations (doc
B). but parliament believed in “virtual representation” where the colonies are part of the empire and parliament does what is best for their empire.
An additional reason for why they were different in their identity is simply their physical appearance and genetics. As Hester st. John Crevacoer proposes. It’s not only English men but also Dutch, German, Spanish etc. all of these “melt into a new race of humanity
“with new and different philosophies they began Identifying themselves as Americans and not as English men . (Doc H)

The French Indian war also brought and forced the colonies to unite.
Since Great Britain had a massive debt, they taxed the colonies. With the Stamp Act of
1765 , which taxed paper brought to the Stamp Act Congress in 1765 which wrote together the Listing of Grievances. Not only about the stamp act but about all the other taxed Britain has placed. It also created Sons of Liberty which attacked stamp act taxes and colonists who didn’t follow the boycott of British goods. Eventually the intolerable accts in 1774 and the tea act of 1773 led to the first continental congress in Philadelphia
1774. Where all the 13 colonies realized that they will have to unite in order to survive and get what they want , not allowing the British to destroy himself (doc C) even prior to this convention and about two centuries ago we can see how unity was seen an important mean to survive.