In the 13 colonies by the eve of The Revolution the colonists had unity in varying degrees and definitely their own American identity. During the years of mounting revolution in 1750-1776 the Americans finally realized they were meant to have independence. American ideals came into play that represent us for who we are as a people today. A belief in standing together as a unified country, fighting for what you believe in to be justice, and a country that gives others the chance to start anew with a clean slate are the morals that make up the American identity.
America is a unified country that stands together to support it’s own. In Document A Ben Franklin’s cartoon symbolizes his belief that influenced the rest of the Patriots that without Americans supporting each other and uniting, they had no strength at all. In Document C, Richard Lee announces with supreme confidence that America is united against any people no matter how many that may attempt to take America’s liberties. However, some Loyalists believed that the Patriots were given happiness and prosperity and that they took too much happiness against the country who had given them unity. Document F personifies this. In Document G, during the historic and monumental closure of Boston Harbor this list exemplifies with each item of support that the colonies sent in their promise to support one another. Finally, when American delegates from each colony minus Georgia attended the First Continental Congress they showed their level of commitment and understanding that unified colonies were strong colonies.
A key moral that makes up the American identity is their belief of fighting for what they believe to be justice. One of America’s loudest grievances was taxation without representation. This issue incensed Americans on the principle that some legislation overseas on an island could enforce laws on a mighty nation, as stated in Document E. Secondly, the colonists also prepared militias and armed themselves as stated in Document E. Men were willing to lay down their lives on the principle that Americans deserved justice. Again Document G comes into play, this time as an example of Americans supporting each other’s liberties. When the colonies donate food to Massachusetts during the closure of the Boston Harbor they are demonstrating an effort at undermining British policy by fighting an unfair punishment. However, some Loyalists would not trade an overseas tyrant for many more tyrants at home, as stated in Document D. One event not mentioned in the documents is the Boston Massacre. Even though this “massacre” was induced by American provocation of redcoats, it’s the American way of standing up for the belief that Britain cannot just land troops on their shores. It came at a cost, but Americans would not accept injustice to go unnoticed.
America was also a clean slate for many immigrants. Whereas throughout other parts of the world these people might suffer discrimination based upon their race or religion, in America there were havens for all walks of life. In Document H, one American farmer testifies to the metamorphosis that extinguished European prejudices. A group of immigrants that helped make the country what it became were indentured servants. They worked hard for a fresh start that America offered to them. Also, nowhere else could religions find more toleration. Rhode Island was a groundbreaking colony because of their laissez faire policy on religion and attending church. Each aspect of America’s fresh start that was offered contributed to it’s identity right before the Revolution.
America’s identity on the eve of The Revolution was one of varied unity among the colonies, their common belief in fighting for justice, and the opportunity for immigrants to have a fresh start. Even though the Americans considered themselves British citizens for a long time, there were certain differences they could not compromise on. These differences would go on to make up the great American identity.