To what extent had the colonists developed a sense of their identity and unity as Americans by the eve of the revolution?

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mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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With all of the experiences the colonists faced between the end of the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War, many colonists felt a bond of unity and purpose by the time the Revolutionary War began. Many of the colonists felt united in their fight to have unpopular, and their view, unfair tax law laws repealed. They organized boycotts to protest unfair taxes such as the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts. They also began to make their own products.

There were other activities that also unified many of the colonists. The colonists developed committees of correspondence to keep everybody aware of what was happening in the colonies. The First Continental Congress formed after the Boston Tea Party. They vowed to disobey British laws and supported the formation of militias in the colonies. When conditions didn’t improve, the Second Continental Congress met. This group began to govern the colonies. They formed an army that was led by George Washington. They tried to let the King know they wanted to remain peaceful by developing the Olive Branch Petition. Eventually, they authorized the writing of the Declaration of Independence. This was adopted on July 4, 1776.

The events from 1750-1776 helped to unite many of the colonists.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Much of your answer for this DBQ has to come from background sources.  I think that the use of the specified primary sources would be critical in writing this.  Without knowing the specific sources identified, the answers given here would only hope to give background information and little else.  I think that one could make a real strong argument that there had been a sense of unified focus and understanding within the colonies in the days leading to the Revolution.  The Second Continental Congress had met and formulated the initial steps for war in printing money, forming an army, and naming Washington as its commander.  The Declaration of Causes and Necessities made a fairly strong case that helped to rally the Patriotic cause.  At the same time, while there were Loyalists present, the Colonial nation had been whipped up into a fervor of war with groups such as the Committees of Correspondence that were able to send out written propaganda advocating the need to break with the British.

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