To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the Revolution?

Essay by jeffreysooHigh School, 10th gradeA-, September 2008

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Before the American Revolution, a sense of unity was evident among the colonies. The colonists began to realize that they are not separate colonies with separate goals, but that they needed to become a single and unified nation in order to survive. The colonists also began to realize that they were not "British," but that they were their own people. "He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood which you will find in no other country." (Document H). This mixed person created a new man, an American colonist. From the period 1750 to 1776, the colonists began to develop a sense of their identity and unity through propaganda, the relationship between the colonies and Britain, and the French and Indian War.

Benjamin Franklin's quote and cartoon, "Join, or Die", may seem threatening at first. However, this quote was not a threat, but a foreshadowing of what was to come if there was no unity among the colonies.

Accompanying the quote was a cartoon of a serpent cut into many pieces. The serpent is a representative of America, and the pieces are the individual colonies, on their own. This cartoon shows that without the help and existence of the parts of the body, America, the colonies would not survive. (Document A) In 1767, John Dickinson says, "We cannot be happy without being free; we cannot be free without being secure in our property; we cannot be secure in our property if, without our consent, others may, as by right, take it away; taxes imposed on us by Parliament do thus take it away." These quotes show how propaganda influenced the colonists to have a sense of unity and independence.

Because the distance between the colonies and Britain was distant, and...