Nationalism During Colonial America
Socially, the colonists from Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia and New considered themselves to be British. They imitated the British styles of dress, etiquette and dance. Most of the upper crust of Colonial America built its mansions in the Georgian style, had furniture designs of Thomas Chippendale and took part in the Enlightenment.
Although many colonists had never been to England, for them the cities at the seashore of colonial America were true British cities.
The colonies’ systems of governance were modeled after the British constitution. So the colonies each had a governor, the governor’s council and the colonial assembly. These corresponded to the King, House of Lords and House of Commons respectively. The codes of law in different colonies were drawn directly from the British law existing at that point of time. It was ultimately the difference in meanings of some of the political ideals that led to the American Revolution.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth century, the British economy started booming and this led to the factories producing more than what the country could consume. In order to find a market for all the excess produce, Britain started exporting to the colonies and between 1740 and 1770, British exports to colonial America increased by 360 percent. As British merchants started offering the colonies large credits, practically all started buying the imported goods. Since all colonies bought similar goods, they managed to forge a common Anglican identity across colonial America.
Although the colonies were very different from the other, they were still part of the great British Empire and not just in name. Nationalism during colonial America meant to behave, dress and buy like the British. However, this ultimately led to the American Revolution when political ideals started varying and the people realized that the colonies were not being treated fairly by the King.
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