Country Identity is Important In America

A country’s identity is essential for them to establish themselves and be able to unite when faced with a common adversary. In the Americas this identity evolved from many factors that pushed them toward the American revolution. In the 18th century the American identity erupted into the fledgling country and would eventually evolve into a revolution that formed a new country. It emerged due to several factors including the great awakening, changes to how they were governed by the British and the “betrayal” by the British in regard to Native Americans.

Ideals of the puritans gained in the great awakening period have remained in the modern-day US until today, in the 17th century many passionate sermons were given to sway the minds of the people into believing them and basing their lives on religion.

One sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, by Jonathan Edwards where he talks about how everyone is going to hell, which impacts society by making it, so everyone has to watch out for each other.

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In modern day America this can be seen as friendly neighbors and often times small talk is seen as odd from foreign peoples, this oddity was also different then the British at the time as they were seen as not part of the community and therefor no need to watch out for them. The changes in policy that the British implemented after the 7 years’ war pushed the Americans further from the British and instilled a feeling of adversary in the people living there at the time.

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The primary change to how the colonies were governed was the end of benign neglect that was prevalent up to the end of the 7 years’ war. This policy led to a raise in taxes, and the requirement of housing British in homes of the citizens.

The raise in taxes primarily hurt the wealthy of the time but since it went from no taxes to there being a precedent for tax collection, it worried the majority of people. This meant that the people wanted to go back to the ways of the past where essentially there was no government to enforce taxes and allow people to do what they wanted, in essence they felt as though they had lost their liberty and freedom. Another change was now the civilians had to house British forces and since most of the soldiers came from the criminal population and were often less the reputable it gave the colonist a feeling of they wanted to distance themselves from these people with worse values then the ones the colonist held. Several treaties and laws were signed with the Native Americans that then limited how far west the colonist could go west.

This was seen by the colonist as a betrayal by the British due to the colonist belief that they could go west in order to obtain material wealth in the form of land and whatever resources could be extracted from the west. Once more this enraged the colonies due to their desire to expand westward into Indian Territory and adding fuel to the thought that the British were against them. In the end the American identity was formed through the actions of the British and a push by the American people to grow from the religious and philosophical influences of the time.  The most controversial document from the founding of the United States is the constitution, due to its secrecy when it was written and how it is interpreted.

The U.S. Constitution was a combination of being a conservative counter-revolution and patriotic pragmatism, this is due to how it left key issues such as slavery and women’s rights up to future generations and also, protected the status quo of the wealthy maintaining their wealth. To many the constitution was a fight to centralize power and maintain it within the upper class of the day. Mercy Otis Warren for instance saw it as an affront to the rights of the people since it was a very elitist and very much secretive in its formation thus undermining the ideas of freedom the country fought for and what many people of the time wanted.

On the other hand, the Federalists who wanted the constitution as a patriotic endeavor due to how it would then protect and unite the young country with a republic it would then be easier to allow more people to vote. Also, while they did not go as far with reforms as they could have they did leave the frame work for future generations to work out allowing it to be shown that the country can evolve into what its people wanted. One issue that was allowed to be debated was slavery and how they prohibited the importing of new slaves showed that there could be interpretations that are not written explicitly in the document. Another was women’s suffrage and minorities to vote, John Adams for instance wanted to go further and allow all nations to vote.

This shows that the founders of this country wanted the country to grow and prosper in ways they could not imagine. More evidence that this was an act of patriotism is that the bill of rights that followed a few years after the constitution gave the idea that while this will provide the framework, it can be changed and adapted to a changing society, and held the interest of the nation’s citizens in mind during its foundation and through the rest of time. The intentions of the constitution are rarely clear as there are many different interpretations of this iconic legal document. These ideas and intensions are still being debated to this day as the country faces new ideas and must adapt to the changing times.

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Country Identity is Important In America. (2022, Jan 08). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/country-identity-is-important-in-america-essay

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