Analysis of the change in perception of the American colonists from loyal English subjects to independent Americans
First of all, it is important to realize that the pilgrims and European immigrants arrived in the North America with the aim of obtaining religious freedom. The British Monarchy at the time constrained the religious freedoms of its people. However, the English identity of the immigrants still remained despite the fact that the colonists were in a new territory. This is evident by the fact that the British Monarchy did not consider the colonists as being sovereign. The British Monarch believed that its mandate and jurisdiction ran beyond the borders of England ( Foner 49). This concept is manifest based on the idea that the colonists were answerable to the British parliament and monarchy despite the fact that they had their own state legislators and standing armies in North America. The British parliament passed laws and legislations that they expected the colonists to follow. The colonists were not represented in the British parliament. One of the most unpopular legislation was the Stamp Act of 1765. This legislation required that the colonists pay taxes on paper goods such as stamps. The money collected in form of stamp tax was to benefit Britain and not the colonists who occupied North America. Clearly this was a form of tax without representation. In the light of this, the lack of political freedom of colonists from the British Monarchy began to ignite a sense of resentment by the colonists.
The colonists began to see themselves as being different from the loyal British subjects who were suffering under the British Monarch. The sense of suffering that was shared by the colonists caused them to be united. The colonists began to aspire for both economic and political freedom from the British Monarchy. The aspiration for freedom led the colonists to resist the rule of the British Monarchy in the colonies. Some of the ways that the colonists revolted against the rule of the monarchy was through uniting and engaging in war with the British Monarchy. Colonists engaged in protests and demonstrations that aimed at expressing their desires of freedom. In addition, the colonists countered the unpopular legislation that they were subjected to. For example, after the imposition of the Stamp Act of 1765, the colonists decided to boycott goods from Britain. This means that the colonists did not purchase finished goods that were coming from Europe. The British economy heavily relied on the profits generated from selling finished goods to the colonists in North America. The boycotting of British goods by the colonists led the British government to incur heavy losses. This success by the colonists paved the way for the American Revolution. The colonists began to view themselves as one people who shared the same problem. Despite the diversity that existed within the different colonies in North America, the colonist began to collaborate in their efforts to insert pressure to the British monarch to grant them their own political and economic freedom.
In conclusion, the colonists began to view themselves as Americans who had a different identity compared to the loyal subjects in England. The colonists viewed North America as a territory that was not tarred by feudalism and classism that characterized the British Monarchy. For this reason the colonists set the stage for the American Revolution based on the concept of American Exceptionalism.
Foner, Eric. Voices of freedom a documentary history. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2011. Print.