American Identity Prior to the Revolutionary War

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Early American Identity
Robert Zimmermann Madrigal

During the time prior to the revolutionary war, there was a mixed sense of identity within the colonies. Some of the colonists saw themselves as English citizens, while others saw themselves as Americans and wanted a free, self governed nation. The first actuall sign of American identity was in 1754 when Benjamin Franklin proposed the Albany plan, as represented in Doc. A. Even though his proposition was denied it still showed that people were starting to take the idea of being "American" into account. In Document B. Edmund Burke shows his resentment of how American is being governed. "Is there a single trait of resemblance between those few towns, and a great and growing people spread over a vast quarter of the globe, separated from us by a mighty ocean." He says that he doesn't believe that the colonies should be ruled by a nation that is so different and so far away. "The eternal barriers of nature forbid that the colonies should be blended or coalesce into the mass... of this Kingdom." He again states that the colonies should not be ruled by Great Britain. After the French and Indian war England was in a great amount of debt, so they started to impose taxes of the colonies. The people living in the colonies had lived in the colonies their whole lives and had never been taxed by the government before, so they were very unhappy about them. The people of the colonies protested against all of the acts that the British government had set. From the years of 1763 to 1774 the British government proposed a series of acts that imposed taxes and regulations on the people of the colonies. The proclamation of 1763 being the first of them, prevented the colonists from moving into territory past the Appalachien mountains. This was the begining of an era of protest and unhappiness. In Document C. Richard Henry Lee talks about how the colonies are all working together to fight for their liberties against "every power...
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