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
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During the first two years of the French and Indian War the colonies fought together on their own. They received little help from England and what help there was often failed because of the aging Navy and the unsuccessful attempt to recapture parts of the Ohio River by General Edward Braddock. When General William Pitt finally showed up to help, he began forcing men to enlist and taking colonists' weapons and tools with no compensation. The Americans were not used to the British officers. Years of living without classes and ranks had given the Americans a unique attitude (Doc. H) This caused a lot of resentment toward the British. The war gave American colonists a common enemy and they began to resent a common government.

After the war Britain had many problems. The French ceded a vast amount of land which almost doubled the British Empire. Britain was also in a recession and had a huge national debt. In order to counteract these problems Britain began a New Colonial Policy and instituted many Acts. The enforcement of these laws, which have for years been neglected, was frustrating for the colonies. The colonies began to resent the sudden revocation of their freedoms and soon would act against them in rebellion (Doc. F). The first of many acts was the Proclamation Line in 1763, prohibiting settlers from entering the land west of the Appalachian Mountains. This prevented settlers

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