Apush Dbq 4
The American Revolution shocked the world; no one had ever expected a small group of colonies to fight for and win their own independence from the seemingly greatest and most omnipresent country on earth. Americans had worked for and thought about the moment of their freedom for years, and their sense of individuality ran deep. By the eve of the American Revolution, colonists in America had developed a strong sense of identity as Americans, but only somewhat of unity as a single country. In events leading up to the Revolution, the colonists had developed a strong identity as citizens of America.
As interracial couples emerged and different ethnicities intertwined peacefully, people began to forget their past history of identification as “English” or “French” and now simply considered themselves American. As stated in Letters from an American Farmer, “Here individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labours and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world…” [Doc. H] In addition, because of the Proclamation of 1763, colonists began to resent the British more fully, and as a result, resorted to seeing themselves as more independent and distinct.
Anyone who lived in and supported America considered themselves as Americans despite their original nationality. Parliament also no longer had the means to govern the colonies because of the distance between them and the lack of similarities between the regions. As “Notes for Speech in Parliament” stated, “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? ” [Doc.
B] America had begun to develop its own sense of individuality. The “Declaration for the Causes of Taking up Arms” revealed that Americans were willing to fight for their cause and independence, proving that they thought they were unique and had a sense of individuality [Doc. E]. Next, because the colonists argued for actual representation in Parliament instead of virtual representation, it showed that they had their own sense of identity as a people and demanded for Britain to recognize that identity as well.
By the eve of the Revolution, the colonists in America had some sense of unity, but it was not complete. As shown in Ben Franklin’s drawing in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, unity was being called for among the colonies, but did not include some states such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Connecticut; New England was the “head” [Doc. A]. However, during the call for the Albany Plan of Union, the colonies were strongly urged to unite, but were not yet unified.
Next, in the letter from Richard Henry Lee to Arthur Lee in 1774, it is shown that the colonies were becoming stronger and more unified, as well as willing to fight for their liberties, as one in the events leading up to the eve of the Revolution, and Britain was beginning to get scared [Doc. C]. There were also things like the Association and politicians for the 1st Continental Congress in 1774 which strengthened the colonies unification, but loyalists continued to be present in America, as shown in The Famous Mather Byles [Doc. D].
The presence of Loyalists suggests that America still had opposition within itself, showing that unification was extremely unlikely. Next, in the Olive Branch Petition, it is shown that although the Americans were unified as one, they continued to be attached to their motherland and gave Britain more chances to replenish their relationship. In the “Declaration for the Causes of Taking up Arms”, it is made clear that America is ready to fight as one unified country, but would rather peacefully resolve their problems with Britain [Doc. E].
The Boston Tea Party proved that Americans were certainly willing to come together to fight the British as they dumped tons upon tons of tea of British ships. However, this came at a hefty price as Boston was made to pay back everything they owed through taxes. Some colonies came to the relief of Boston, sending them supplies, such as Windham, Connecticut sending a small flock of sheep and the Provincial Assemply of New Jersey sending “cash or articles of provision or other necessaries we can furnish” as shown in “Contributors of Donation for the Relief of Boston”, showing unification among the colonies.
However, not all colonies are present on this list, adding to the idea that the colonies continued to struggle to fully unify. [Doc. G] In addition, in The Origin and Progress of the American Revolution to the year 1776, Peter Oliver of Massachusetts proves that Loyalists continued their presences in the colonies, dampening the ability of America to become truly unified. He depicted the Rebels as mad and ravages.
The Loyalists were happy with protection from the motherland and did not necessarily want to destroy that [Doc. F]. In conclusion, the United States had become as strong and independent country by the eve of the American Revolution. They had developed an extremely strong sense of identity as Americans, as proved by Letters from an American Farmer and “Notes for Speech in Parliament”, as well as the Proclamation of 1763 and actual representation.
However, their sense of unity lacked as shown by Ben Franklin’s drawing in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1754, the Albany Plan of Union, the letter from Richard Henry Lee to Arthur Lee in 1774, The Famous Mather Byles, the Olive Branch Petition, the “Declaration for the Causes of Taking up Arms”, The Origin and Progress of the American Revolution to the year 1776, and the “Contributors of Donation for the Relief of Boston”. As America pressed on in the Revolution however, this sense of identity remained strong and unity grew until the horrors of the Civil War came to pass.