American Identity and Unity Before the Revolution

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American Identity and Unity Before the Revolution

Karla Ramirez


Many Americans believe in modern time that our independence was due to an oppressive British government. America was home of the proud and brave Patriots. But, the colonies were in much need of the propaganda to create the later American identity. Colonist sense of identity and unity as Americans by eve of the revolution was only extended to defending independence due to many British Loyalists, loyalty to only one self’s colony and the capitalist mentality.

To begin, there was a substantial amount of colonists in The United States that were loyal to the British crown. These loyalists found that leaving the wings of the British government was not going to be easy. After all the initial plan of our 1st continental congress was to repeal offensive legislation and return to the time before parliamentary taxation. Loyalist tried, hard to curve the revolutionist mentality. This created a halfhearted mentality to go to war.

Secondly, there was also the strong sense of belonging to one colony. Each colony already had a self-colonial identity; there was no need for many to fit in somewhere else. Colonies felt strongly about this and even sometimes disputed with other colonies, displaying colonial separation. If you asked most colonists they identified themselves as a citizen of a colony not as a American. This left a larger gap for the search of American identity.

Lastly, the capitalist economy system in the colonies that meant whatever was brought would affect many differently. For people in the business of the military, war was a good thing, but in general the colonies weren’t of military business. Colonials were also very aware that war brought debt and their hard earned money was worth less. Debt was the main reason for higher taxes in the colonies. The economy let the colonists know the price of war and weren’t eager to unite for it with their pockets.

Clearly, as one can observe the colonists only identified and unified as Americans in order to defend independence. Colonists were only halfheartedly revolutionist and were not in the mentality to be in a war. There was a substantial amount of colonial identity and no need to fit in anywhere else. To conclude, colonists knew the expense of war and tried to avoid it as much as possible.

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