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How were the American colonists different from the British?

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user8464742 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2013 at 10:48 AM via web

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How were the American colonists different from the British?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 27, 2013 at 1:36 PM (Answer #1)

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One distinct way in which the Colonists were different from the British was that they were immigrants.  Those who experienced success, landed wealth, and a sense of entitlement in their name and their experience remained in England.  They had no real reason to leave.  The individuals that left England for the New World had none of these.  Essentially, those that left England for the New World did so because they were deprived in some way.  Perhaps, they were deprived economically.  Perhaps, this deprivation was spiritual.  They left England because of some need to find something new in this land that represented the hope and opportunity that they lacked in England.

It was in this feature in which there was significant difference between the American colonists and the British.  As the New World became a realm of fulfillment for those who left England, resentment began to settle in with the theoretical underpinnings of initiatives like The Navigation Acts, which suggested that "the colonies existed for the benefit of the Mother Country (England) and that the colonies' trade should be restricted to the Mother Country."  In this, one can see how there was a distinct difference between many who lived in the new Colonial setting and those who lived in England.  It is here in which significant cultural differences between both can be seen.

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