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American Identity

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AmerixcAlthough the colonies consisted of immigrants whose origins spanned the globe, they created their own distinct identify and unity as Americans through new political ideology such as the Continental Congress, readiness to preserve and defend their new found liberties and, continued to evolve socially.

Long before the eve of the American Revolution there were politicians uniting the colonies. Benjamin Franklin's political cartoon of a snake represented the colonies and how they would all parish if they continued to stand alone. (Doc A) And it was these newly united colonies that could not be controlled and governed as if they were another English town because they were separated by the Atlantic from parliament. (Doc B) This allowed the colonies to have a bit more freedom with less repercussions because of their separation from Britain then if they were in Europe. But it wasn't until the Continental Congress in July of 1775 where delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies met to share their new political stand points against the British did the colonists really start to feel out their limitations.

It was also at this meeting of politicians where the Declaration for the Cause of Taking up Arms (Doc E) was formed that explained their reasons for arming themselves was not in an attempt to concur Britain and its territories but to simply succeed from the empire due to their newly acquired differences. But even before the Continental Congress, Americans were "...firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away." (Richard Henry Lee, Doc C)

And these new liberties represented a new race of man, American, who consisted of a melting pot of nationalities, who left behind their ancient prejudices and manners, and received new ones from the new mode of life they embraced. (Doc H) Whether they were decedents of the pilgrims who claimed their homestead in Plymouth in 1620 or they were newly landed immigrants in the 1770's, all were Americans. Their new culture was part of their past and part of their future in America.

The birth of America was certainly not an easy one by any measure, but the determination of a unified nation set it in a league of its own created an incomparable identity to any other nation of its time.



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