British Identity Dbq

Topics: American Revolution, Boston Tea Party, Townshend Acts Pages: 3 (1120 words) Published: March 22, 2006
"To prohibit a great people from making all that they can of every part of their own produce advantageous to themselves, is a manifest violation of the most sacred rights of mankind." These views of Adam Smith were very much supported throughout the mid-18th century. Throughout this time, many new developments were made regarding American colonists view's of their sense of identity and unity as Americans. Due to an over controlling British government and a need for individuality as a country, colonists became Americans through their great fight to highly develop their sense of identity and unity as Americans.

Of the many circumstances that promoted a developing American identity, British mercantilism and their following regulations on it is of the utmost importance. The British government believed that wealth was power and that a country's economic, military, and political wealth could be measured by the amount of gold or silver in its treasury. To amass this wealth, the British passed laws to regulate the mercantilist system. The Navigation Law conceded that all commerce flowing to and from the colonies could be transported only in British vessels. Other events that infuriated the colonists were the insufficient amount of currency in America as well as Britain's right to nullify any legislation passed by the colonial assemblies. One such thing that encouraged a unity amongst the colonists was Benjamin Franklin's cartoon showing the necessity of a unified American government. [Doc A] Although some may say the mercantilist system was excellent for the colonists, it actually burdened the colonists with annoying liabilities. Mercantilism stifled economic initiative and imposed a rankling dependency on British agents and creditors. With the continued efforts of complete control by the British, the colonists became livid and developed a better sense of their identity as Americans; they knew what had to be done!

One such thing that American colonists...
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