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American Unity And Identity Essay

1233 words - 5 pages

Clara Miller 10-7-14Mrs. DeMassa AP U.S. HistoryIn the 1750's there was no real sense of unity among the North American Colonies, in fact the colonies experienced a profound sense of parochialism for their states. Tariffs on imports and exports were imposed, along with other taxes on goods transported between states. Inter-colonial relations were tense and hostile as a result. Over time however, the colonial states gradually merged together and united as one by the eve of the revolution. They solidified slowly, initially joining to protest British indecencies such as the strongly opposed tax installations, and eventually moved to outright rebellion against Britain. Beginning in the 1760s a sense of increasing colonial cohesiveness of the American population slowly emerged so that by 1776 the colonists were able to recognize themselves as united Americans.First, in the 1750s-1760s, the colonies were not yet united and greatly competed with one another. In order for the colonies to eventually be united in 1776 they slowly had to unite or they would never be able to reach independence. The Pennsylvania Gazette published an illustration created by Benjamin Franklin in 1754, as seen in Document A, which essentially stressed the great need for intercolonial unity. The message was clear as it read "JOIN, or DIE" and urged the American people to not only co-exist peacefully, but to unite as one strong nation. As for the colonists themselves, they did not readily strive to be independent at this time, but rather to simply retain their liberties as born Englishmen. Over the course of the next 10 years that feeling of loyalty was slowly replaced with an independent mindset of the colonial people. In 1765 Britain implemented the Stamp Act which created a large economic burden on the colonists. In retaliation to the unfair taxation, the colonists protested and created the Stamp Act Congress, profusely professing their belief of "No taxation without representation" and soon created a large enough conflict that the Act was repealed in 1766. The Stamp Act Congress was extremely significant in the sense that it was one of the first steps to unification by bringing together 9 out of 13 states protesting for a correlated cause. In the midst of all this protest and unification progress Britain had a different opinion as expressed in Document B by Edmund Burke in his speech to Parliament. Britain was greatly opposed to the commotion over in America and critical of their efforts to achieve national independence. Britain validated its argument by pointing out that young, partially-developed, disunited states could not possibly strive for independence similar to that of England's simply because England was old, stable, and strong.Likewise, in the movement towards a united nation, the colonists gradually joined once again during the Boston Tea Party in 1773. They joined to protest the unfair taxes on British tea as they dumped 32 chests into the Boston harbor. This act...

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