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How were the American colonists different from the British?

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Thanh Munoz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The answer to this question will vary somewhat depending on the geographic region of the colonies we are looking at, the class and political orientation of the British people in question, and many other factors. It would be a mistake to regard either the British or the Americans of this (or any) period as a monolithic entity. So many differences existed internally among residents of both the colonies and the mother country that it's difficult to generalize about what distinguished the two peoples from each other.

That said, it's still possible to determine a few general factors that gave the residents of the colonies a unique status in the world and a growing perception of their need for political separation from Britain. Many of the colonists, or their ancestors, had come to the New World because in Britain they had been outsiders or even outcasts from the establishment, often due to religious differences. New England was settled largely by Puritans, people who did not conform to the...

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