What feelings of nationalism led to the American Revolution?

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pholland14 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Under British control prior to 1763, the colonists enjoyed limited self-rule.  They were free to tax themselves.  Britain had tax laws, but seldom applied them--the colonists often bribed the underpaid and understaffed British officials.  The colonists also took up a large share of their own defense against the French and their Indian allies in the Seven Years' War.  After the war ended in 1763, all of this changed.  The British started to send more officials to the colonies to collect taxes and to ensure that navigation acts were followed.  Parliament insisted that the local assemblies that the colonists had depended on for local governance could be dissolved at any time.  Through boycott, Americans learned how to be more self-sufficient--this was the first "buy American" movement and helped to fuel the idea that the colonists were more "American" than "British."  Bad management by the British, such as trying colonial tax dodgers without juries and quartering redocats in meeting houses also led to the concept that the Americans were different than the British.  

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