The Emergence of the American Identity

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The Emergence of the American Identity

During and after the American Revolution, the 13 colonies began to develop an American identity which set them apart from Great Britain. Colonists began to stop thinking of themselves as British citizens and started to think of themselves as Americans.

Nationalism—The feeling of pride in one’s country. (Patriotism) The colonist began to feel like a separate country from Great Britain and began to take pride in calling themselves Americans instead of British citizens.

Egalitarianism—The belief in the equality of all of a country’s citizens.

The colonists claimed to base their early government and ideas on egalitarianism. Everyone who was a citizen was equal no matter how wealthy they were.

Slaves and women were not given any citizenship rights.

1st Great Awakening—1730’s-1740’s—A religious movement in the colonies that emphasized a personal religious experience. During the 1st Great Awakening, people began to study their Christian Bibles at home and this decentralized the flow of religious information to people.

Religious Pluralism—Having several different denominations or religions in one country.

The colonies began to have many different types of Christianity as well as other religions. Since England only allowed one church, the Anglican Church, the people in the colonies embraced the idea of being able to worship as they wanted.

Separation of Church and State—One of the major ideas of the new United States of America was the idea of separation of church and state. The founding fathers felt that the government should not encourage any one religion and government should not be involved in citizens’ religious activities.--Roger Williams of Rhode Island.

Land Ownership—Since only certain people in Great Britain, mostly wealthy nobles, were allowed to own land, Americans began to put a lot of value in owning land. The opportunity to own land became a major reason for immigration to the...
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