A Sense of Identity and Unity

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The Colonists' Sense of Identity and Unity

By the eve of the revolution, the colonists had developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans to a great extent. The colonists had their own vocabulary by this time. The colonists also had rights that were not available in Great Britain. The colonies had united for the first time during the French and Indian War, so they already had experience fighting for a common cause. Before the revolution against Great Britain, the colonists knew who they were and what they stood for.

Although Great Britain and the colonies both spoke English, each had their own vocabulary. Great Britain's was more refined and the colonies' vocabulary was more rugged. It was this rugged vocabulary that helped the colonies shape a new identity. Sometimes words were the same in the two regions but had different interpretations. The word "constitution" to the Englishmen explained all the laws and ways of protocol that had existed since the start of their kingdom. To the colonists is meant a document that gave the colonists different rights and powers. The different interpretations and variations of the words and vocabulary helped the colonists create an identity.

On the eve of the revolution, the colonists had many rights Englishmen did not have. In the colonies any religion could be practiced; colonists had the freedom of religion. In Great Britain, the head monarch was the head of the Church of England and could choose what religion the Englishmen followed. The colonists also had freedom of speech and the press. This became evident in the Zenger verdict, in which John Zenger's case of being allowed to publish true criticisms became a landmark in the freedom of the press argument. This right was not exercised in Great Britain. Freedoms available in the colonies that were not available in Great Britain helped the colonies establish an identity.

By the eve of the revolution, a sense of unity was greatly evident in...
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