America on the Eve of the Revolution


    Colonists who lived in America during the years leading up to the Revolution only called themselves ‘Americans’ in the sense that they lived on the continent of North America. They considered themselves British first and foremost, their second identity was with their colony. This was their colonial identity. At the time of the early 1750s the North American colonists did not see themselves as a unit at all. The colonists were the freest people in the world, and were on their way to being the richest. They were building big colonial homes and using British finery, thoroughly showing their wealth to the world.

      The big nemesis to the colonists and Britain is France, who reinforce their “Britishness” by being the opposite of of them in almost every way. The British contrast themselves from several groups of people:

        -the French because they are an absolutist country whose people are impoverished with no voice, and they are Catholic

        -they see Spain as a secondary colonist, they are not quite as frightening as France

        -the Indians are different as well because they are considered savages,

so it was easy for the British to contrast themselves favorably to these groups, they saw themselves as the better society of people. 

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