Explain the fundamental differences in social ideals which separated the American colonies and Great Britain after 1763.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In my opinion, the greatest difference in social ideals had to do with the views that the colonists and the British had towards equality and hierarchy.  The British still believed in a strict hierarchy while the colonists were much more egalitarian.

By 1763, the conditions of life in the colonies had shaped the American society to the point that there was much more equality than in Britain.  There were, of course, no hereditary lords in the colonies.  In addition, the availability of land led to the creation of a society of independent people in small towns.  This encouraged the people to think of one another as equals.

The colonists saw in the French and Indian War how different this attitude was from that of Britain.  While the colonial militias elected their officers, the British regulars were subjected to harsh discipline.  This brought home to the colonists just how different they and the mother country had become in terms of social values.

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