DBQ on identity and unity of the colonies
The revolutionary war was a fine example of unity and a great sense of identity. During, the revolutionary era there were many examples of colonial unity as a group and as a soon to be country. The strength of the revolution was dependent on their unity. The colonists had a strong sense identity and unity by the eve of the revolutionary war.
The identity of the colonists was showed in many ways throughout history. The colonists wanted to be a separate entity from their mother country, England.
The identity of the colonists was shown in a speech to parliament by Edmund Burke. He wrote about the colonies as a separate place far from England. Burke wrote:
Govern America as you govern an English town which happens not to be represented in parliament…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? (Burke,1).
This was example the identity of the colonies, because Burke said the English rule cannot have effect on America. He also said that England cant rule the colonists because of the difference of culture and way of life. They were really a separate country.
There were many examples of unity in pre-revolution events. After the Intolerable acts were put into action, the colonists rebelled against the king and started the Continental Congress. The Navigation acts were another example of unity because they defied the king and stood up for what they believed in. The pamphlet Common Sense, by Thomas Paine, helped unify the colonists through its ideas of a new republic. Printed articles such as news, books and events like the Boston Massacre helped the colonists unify through propaganda. The French and Indian war was also an example of unity because all the colonies helped each other even if they were not directly involved with the war. They also created a militia which proved unity.
One of the most powerful examples of unity was in a letter from Richard Lee to Arthur lee 24 February, 1774. “…all N. America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away…” (Lee,1). Richard Lee is sure that the colonies will fight to the end. He talks about the extraordinary unity of the colonists. The drawing in the Pennsylvania Gazette By Benjamin Franklin in 1754 also show unity in action. Franklin’s drawing told the colonists that they must come together as one to defeat the British. This cartoon was an influence in the colonies. After 1754, it is proven that the colonies do come together and that this cartoon was a real influence on the colonies. Another example of influence was in a letter from Mather Byles. He wrote:
They call me a brainless Tory; but tell me, my young friend, which is better, to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or by three thousand tyrants not a mile away. I tell you, my boy, there was just as much humbug in politics seventy years ago as there is today. (Byles,1)
Mather Byles was a neutral stand in the war on liberty. The unity that was shown in this letter was that people in the colonies wanted to rule themselves. They didn’t want one person, a million miles away, to rule them.
The colonists had more unity than most people think. They needed that unity to conquer the big brother of England. Most of all, they needed the unity to fight for their cause and win.
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