Instructions: Submit three essays, based on the Study Guide outlines, as attachments via Canvas. There’s no specific number of pages or word count required. Must be double space.
1. Define the term “localism.” Provide specific examples of this phenomenon in colonial and contemporary American life. What forces contributed to the development of the growth of localism in our culture?
2. Define nationalism. What underlying forces were present in British North America contributing to the development of American nationalism? What finally triggered an awareness of these underlying forces? What factors contributed to the growth of the “conspiracy against liberty” in the 1760s-1770s? Describe the events that led Americans to a heightened understanding of their shared interests.
3. Describe the divisions among American revolutionaries. Analyze the forces and events that contributed to their coalescence in 1774. What forces finally led them to declare independence? Analyze the Declaration of Independence.
Here’s the outline to use as a reference for each of the questions. This can be use to write to essay. Question #1 OutlineThe American Cultural Component to: LocalismI. Definition/Comprehension of Localism/(AKA “Particularism”) A. Belief that a person’s most significant loyalty belongs to the area closest to them/that they most intimately connect to/their “locality” B. Malleable/Changeable from person to person 1. A person may most closely identify as a Spring Brancher, another a Houstonian, another a Texan, another a southerner…it’s all manifestations of localism, or loyalty to one’s most intimate locale, however that’s perceived. C. Always in potential conflict with another American cultural component: Nationalism, or one’s first identification with one’s nation. (we will expand the issue of American Nationalism in the next two topics) D. A connection to localism is one of the oldest components of American culture…it realistically predates the colonies in British North America E. Colonial Examples of Localism 1. Constant disputes within and between colonies: Eastern Connecticut hated western Connecticut, the tidewater area of Virginia hated the piedmont area of Virginia, northeastern colonies had contempt for southern colonies, EVERYBODY in New England hated Rhode Island, etc. colonies engaged in trade disputes, boundary disputes, religious disputes, seldom, even in cases Native American conflict, would one colony go to the defense of another, etc. 2. Illustration: In 1765 a colonist wrote the following, “Were these colonies left to themselves tomorrow, America would be a mere shambles of blood and confusion.” Another wrote, “…fire and water are not more heterogeneous than the different colonies in North America. Nothing can exceed the jealousy and isolation which they possess in relation to each other…such is the difference of character and manners or religion, of interests, of the different colonies, that I think, if I am not wholly ignorant of the human mind, were they left to themselves, there would soon be a civil war from one end of the continent to the other; while the Indians and Negroes would, with better reason, impatiently watch for the opportunity of exterminating them all together.” F. Contemporary Examples of Localism 1. Regional tension/resentments: Coloradans resent Texans, “Southerners are stupid” (President Trump’s public comments about former Attorney General Sessions), Californians are all loopy (“California’s like a box of Granola: what ain’t fruits and flakes is nuts.” Former President Harry Truman) 2. Political debate over “states’ rights” vs. national authority 3. “Pork Barreling:” politicians holding national political office using their political clout to authorize national tax revenues spent to benefit a locality (Refer to the “Bridge to Nowhere”) scandal) II. Factors Contributing to American Localism A. Colonies Founded over the span of more than a century 1. Colonies have profoundly varied development levels a. Older Ones, like Virginia (1607) or Massachusetts (1620), have challenges specific to their age/development stage b. Newer ones, like Georgia (1732) have vastly different set of challenges 2. (This would be an easy place to expand my outline…Brinkley Chapter 2 discusses the origins of all 13 colonies…some additional examples taken from the text would be a way do independent research easily) B. Colonies Founded for Vastly Differing Reasons (Varied “Missions”) 1. Examples: Virginia: to re-create England and make a profit, Massachusetts: to create a “model” of the ideal Puritan society for England to copy (and make a profit), Pennsylvania: a “Holy Experiment” of religious liberty, Maryland: a haven for English Roman Catholics, South Carolina: to preserve race-based slavery… 2. Thirteen Colonies, Thirteen “Missions,” different and potentially in conflict (contrast Massachusetts with Maryland!!! Another place to do some easy independent research…examine the varied colonial missions/objectives) C. No Shared Colonial Administrative System 1. Four “types” of colonies…all administered differently a. Corporate Colonies: Administered by a company (Example: Virginia, The Virginia Company) b. Royal/Crown Colonies: Administered by the British Government (Example: Georgia) c. Proprietary Colonies: Administered by one person (Example: Pennsylvania) d. Spontaneous Colonies: Administered/Created by the colonists themselves (Example: Connecticut) 2. Overtime, colonies evolved toward crown administration, but some never did. D. Localistic Contribution by British Government 1.Official British Policy Toward the North American Colonies: Benign Neglect (AKA Salutary Neglect, Statutory Neglect), A conscious decision to not interfere in colonial affairs…cheaper than governing the colonies. 2. Not abandoned until 1764 3. Creates in the colonies a sense that the high level of self-governance they’d practiced was theirs by right…without British government involvement in colonial affairs, the local, colonial governments effectively controlled events. (You can imagine the American reaction when the British announced they were abandoning Benign Neglect for an activist role in American governance.) E. British Cultural Localism’s Contribution 1. The inclination to identify with locality is present in British culture 2. The “United Kingdom” is composed of several distinctive localities: England, Scotland, Wales, The Channel Islands, Northern Ireland (since Brexit you’ve likely heard more about this…especially since some vocal Scots have urged Scottish separation from England) Local identification is pronounced. (Don’t go to Scotland these days and tell them how much you like being in England…they won’t appreciate it.) 3. The propensity to attach ones’ self to locality in Great Britain was brought here by the colonists themselves who then introduced it into American culture. F. The Influence of a Rugged Topography + No Ground Transportation Infrastructure = Limited inter-Colonial Interaction (In other words, combine the undeveloped landmass of North America with virtually no highways/roads/bridges and the result is few opportunities for colonists to interact with each other.) 1. Native Americans left the slightest imprint on land…land was a gift from the Great Spirit to the entire community, hence they left it as undisturbed as possible (refer to Brinkley Chapter One for more about this feature of Native American culture) 2. When British colonists arrived, North America was a rugged, frontier, undeveloped land mass where travel was difficult, unpleasant, hazardous, and undertaken only under duress. 3. This results in negative stereotyping of their colonial neighbors and few opportunities to experience the reality of their shared experiences. G. Influence of Immigration 1. Immigration serves as a great separator of people, the desperate, ambitious, courageous, risk-takers immigrate. The satisfied, content, fearful, shy, reticent don’t. America is composed of the former not the latter. 2. Colonial-era Immigrants did what immigrants do still: congregate within their own groups, if possible. This creates separated, distinct communities that often feel detached from non-immigrant neighbors. 4. While the U.S. thinks of itself as a “melting pot” of diverse people. There have always been lumps in the American soup, created by immigrant diversity. It takes a while for these lumps to dissolve into a smooth American consistency. 5. Colonial Era Immigration: Two Waves a. Initial Immigration: 17th Century, English Immigrants 1.) Establish English as the dominant language 2.) Establish English political systems/values 3.) British government encouraged immigration…wasn’t enough food in England 4.) British government discouraged immigration in 18th century (English continued to immigrate to North America, but in smaller numbers) b. 18th Century Second Wave Immigration: Many Non-English immigrants 1.) Largest Non-English Immigrant Group: Scots-Irish (Scots who’d been forced to leave Scotland for Ireland a century or two before…resented it…settled in what’s known as Northern Ireland today…immigrated to North America in 18th century) a.) Entered at Philadelphia…America’s major 18th century port/largest city b.) Moved out to the eastern Appalachian foothills in an oblique line running northeast to southwest from Pennsylvania, through Virginia and the Carolinas. c.) Fiercely independent, ruggedly Presbyterian, fearful of strangers, hardworking, ancestors of the “hillbillies” of the Appalachian region of West Virginia, western North Carolina, Kentucky, etc. d.) Approx. 250,000 Scots-Irish 18th century immigrants 2.) Second Largest Non-English 18th Century Immigrant Group: German Pietists (“Pietism” was a radical Protestant movement flourishing in the German states in the 18th century. Pietists refused to take oaths in court, serve in the military, eat certain foods, and behave in ordinary ways; so, they got crossways with their German political leadership…no surprise. Remember: At this time there was no nation of Germany. Germany was merely a region of northwestern and southwestern Europe governed by a variety of Dukes, Princes, Electors, Kings, and Archbishops.) a.) Mostly entered at Philadelphia b.) Attempted to settle in New England…weren’t made welcome…of course c.) Migrated south to south central Pennsylvania d.) Area today known as “Pennsylvania Dutch Country” (misnamed…the German word for “German” is “Deutsch” which the English speakers heard as “Dutch” and therefore called them Dutch.) e.) Hard workers, built rock houses, rock walls, rock churches…many of them still stand f.) Approx. 150,000 18th century German Pietist immigrants into British North America 3.) Third Largest 18th century came much less willingly than the others: Africans. Brought to serve as agricultural labor on southern colonial tobacco, rice, and indigo plantations.) a.) Entered mostly at the Chesapeake Bay or Charleston, S.C. b.) Some initially sent to the Bahamas for “seasoning” on hellish sugar plantations c.) Mostly settled south from Maryland/Virginia down the Atlantic coast to Georgia d.) Approx. 150,000 African 18th century immigrants into British North America 4.) Beyond these large immigrant groups there were pockets of groups dominant in certain localities: Dutch in New York, Swedes in New Jersey, French Protestants in South Carolina. By the end of the colonial era, there were representatives of nearly every national/ethnic/linguistic group around the globe in British North America. Is it any wonder that these colonists had trouble seeing anything that knitted them together? 5.) By the end of the colonial era, there were also clearly identifiable regions: the northeast was the most English-influenced area (not enough non-English residents to break the dominant Englishness), the Middle Colonies/Mid-Atlantic Colonies (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey) were the most diverse, and the South (colonies south of Maryland/Virginia) were distinctive thanks to the concentrated African population. 6.) It should be no surprise that as late as 1774, from the meeting of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Massachusetts delegate and future U.S. President John Adams wrote the following to his wife Abigail describing his fellow delegates, “I find here fifty gentlemen meeting together, all strangers, who are not acquainted with each other’s language, ideas, views, designs. They are therefore jealous of each other, fearful, timid, skittish.” He concluded his assessment by writing that the congress didn’t represent one nation but “thirteen separate republics in the making.” For an American nation to emerge, some of this localism must give way to a sense of American nationalism; that’s the subject of the next topic and the next outline. Question #2The American Cultural Component of Nationalism, Part OneI. Definition/Comprehension A. Nationalism: The belief or idea that one’s most significant sense of loyalty/connection belongs to their nation. B. Not to be conflated with “Patriotism;” The belief or idea that one loves one’s country. (Nationalism and Patriotism are related, to be sure, just not identical twins…first cousins maybe.) A person can love their country and give their first loyalty to a moral code or family or making money or something else. In other words, it’s possible to be a patriot and not necessarily a nationalist…harder however, to do it the other way round. C. A Sense of Nationalism can Produce Extraordinary Behavior/Powerful Thing 1. Neil Armstrong’s willingness to ride astraddle a rocket ship to plant the American flag on the moon. 2. Franklin Roosevelt’s willingness to give his entire adult life to national public service 3. Rosa Parks’ willingness to go to jail to end racial discrimination 4. Caesar Chavez’s willingness to risk life and limb for national economic justice for downtrodden fruit and vegetable gatherers 5. Nazi’s eagerness to murder selected people to bring glory to the “Fatherland” 6. John Adams insisted that the development of an American sense of nationalism represented what he called the “real American revolution.” A student once asked Adams, an old man living in retirement just outside Boston, to tell him about the American Revolution. Adams replied, “What do you mean by ‘the revolution?’ The war? The war was no part of the American revolution. The REAL American Revolution took place 15 years before a drop of blood was shed at Lexington. The REAL American Revolution was in the changing of the minds and hearts of the colonists and the union of the colonies.” In other words, according to John Adams, when an American sense of nationhood developed, there occurred a revolution.II. Colonial Underlying/Passive Forces for American Nationalism A. A Dominant Language: English (Avoid referring to a “common language” in British North America…never was one of those. Too many immigrants hung onto their native tongue…never has been a “common” language in America…isn’t now.) B. A Common Set of British-Based Political Systems/Structures/Values (Across the colonies in North America, colonists carefully designed their local political systems to mimic the British House of Commons, Colonial governmental executives, like those in Great Britain, were subject to the law not above it, protected British civil liberties were carefully protected, etc. British Constitutionalism was admired in the colonies and used to design their own local governments.) 1. Two passive forces for potential American Nationalism…both British-based 2. Explains the attraction of British Nationalism in America 3. Pro-British Americans during the war represented approx. a third of the colonial population 4. These people, who never lost their attachment to Great Britain, were referred to as “Tories” or “Loyalists” during the War for Independence C. A Common American Reaction to British Policy (British government will make policies, the effect will, by necessity, be different from one place to the other.) 1. Trade Policy (A policy that demands a tax (tariff) on imported tea pots, for instance, will effect an Englishman in England differently than an Englishman in North America: Englishman in England buys a Wedgwood (English ceramic manufacturer) teapot, doesn’t pay the tax. Englishman in America buys the same teapot, he pays…it’s imported into America.) 2. Defense Policy/Concerns (An Englishman in England doesn’t worry about Native Americans…an Englishman in America thinks about them a lot! An Englishman in England and an Englishman in America knows full well that their greatest enemy is France…they hate’em and the French hate them. However, an Englishman in England can hate the French and not worry about getting killed by one. The closest Frenchman is in France, and he’s unlikely to cross the English Channel (“La Manche” in French since they don’t believe the channel belongs to the English) successfully to get to him. An Englishman in America hates the French and they’re just north of him in Canada only separated by the St. Lawrence River, which can be virtually stepped over in places.) 3. Land Policies/Tax Policies/Military Policies…you name it…the effects will be different on an Englishman in England vs. an Englishman in America D. The American Life Experience 1. Being in America, having to solve American challenges requiring American solutions separates an Englishman from his Englishness 2. Living in an immigrant society where offspring connect with people with varied origins and ethnic backgrounds was a transformative existence. 3. Colonists, infrequently returning to England, were keenly aware of the changes happening to them,and they wrote about them….a little worried about what this new “American” was going to be.III. Triggers Activating Passive Forces and Building American Sense of Nationalism: The Imperial Crisis (1763-1783) A. Background 1. 70 Years of on again, off again war between Great Britain and France: Ended in 1763 (Last part of the war was called The Seven Years War in Europe and the French and Indian War in North America.) 2. Treaty of Paris (1763): France ceded to Great Britain most of its overseas empire (parts of the Indian subcontinent, Canada, Trans-Mississippi west, etc.) 3. British Empire significantly enlarged 4. British left with a massive debt from the war 5. British Government Abandoned Benign Neglect Colonial Policy of nearly a century’s duration a. To Govern More Effectively b. To Get American Help to Pay the Debt (partially incurred for American defense) B. Triggering Events of the Crisis of Empire 1. Parliamentary Passage of The Proclamation Line of 1763 a. Temporary settlement restriction to east of the Appalachian Mountains b. Colonists nowhere near that far west…most settled along the Atlantic coast for ease of transportation (remember the lack of colonial infrastructure) c. Crossed the Appalachians in 1790 (Daniel Boone and the Cumberland Gap) d. Crisis Begins 1.) Some Americans objected simply because they rejected any restrictions on themselves (the “you’re not the boss of me” middle school, libertarian, Sen. Paul of Kentucky point of view) 2.) Some Americans objected because they suspected it wouldn’t be temporary 3.) Some Americans objected because they’d fought in the French and Indian War for land claims in the west and resented British denial of those legitimately war-won prizes. 4.) Some Americans believed that the British had an unrevealed agenda for keeping them “cooped up” east of the Appalachians. 2. Parliamentary Passage of The Revenue (aka “Sugar”) Act of 1764 a. A lowering of an old tax on imported molasses (the principle sweetener at the time) b. There’d been a tax on imported molasses since 1738…that was higher than the new one c. Designed to help pay off war debt…ergo “Revenue Act” to raise money for the government d. British insisted the amount collected did not pay off America’s share of the debt, it was merely a token contribution (true) e. The Crisis Grows 1.) Some Americans objected because it didn’t REALLY lower their taxes…the old tax had not been collected…Americans just ignored it and smuggled…remember the old Benign Neglect Policy 2.) Some Americans objected because they just didn’t like taxes (Think Republicans today) 3.) Some Americans objected because, according to British Constitutional principles, all revenue legislation required “consent of the governed” through their elected representatives. Since Americans had no directly elected parliamentary representatives, the Revenue Act was unconstitutional. (Thomas Jefferson’s argument…he was a constitutional lawyer.) The British argued that parliamentary representation was virtual, not direct, so Americans were represented, but that cut little ice among some increasingly anti-British Americans…like Jefferson. 3. Parliamentary Passage of the Stamp Act of 1765 a. Passed to augment Revenue Act shortfall (Americans still smuggling) b. Designed as a small, insignificant tax to collect insignificant revenue c. Required a paper embossing stamp (think notary public stamp) on a few things: legal documents, newspapers, and playing cards d. Passed as “a suggestion”…if Colonial leadership wanted to raise the same amount in another way or tax something else, they could choose to do so. (British political leadership was being warned by Benjamin Franklin, who was in London at the time serving as the official agent for the colony of Pennsylvania, that their policies were triggering serious anti-British sentiment in America.) Colonial legislatures were given a year to consider options. A year passed, American legislators offered no alternatives. The British began enforcing the Stamp Act. e. Crisis Explodes/Violence Erupts Across the Continent 1.) Statues overturned, buildings torched, British tax agents beaten, tarred and feathered, riots, protests, violence spread from New England in the north to Georgia in the south and everywhere in between. 2. ) The violence was so serious, the British Government repealed the legislation, the Prime Minister was forced to resign, and his government was replaced. 3.) The Stamp Act Riots represent our second national shared experience (first one was a religious revival movement between 1720 and 1730 called The Great Awakening)…something that all Americans experienced…an event bigger than their locality or their colony or their region…a significant nationalism-building moment. 4.) Explanation: American’s violent reaction wasn’t caused by the amount of the tax (the money amount was small), it was thanks to block headed/arrogant British politics…the tax fell on some of the most important, influential people in the colonies: newspaper publishers and lawyers. It wasn’t so much “bad” policy as “stupid” politics. (I don’t much like the word “stupid,” I don’t often use it, not sure I even believe in it when it comes to my fellow human beings, but it’s about the best description of the politics of the British government that I can come up with at this moment.) 5.) American objection was the same as with the Revenue Act…it was “taxation without representation.” 4. Parliamentary Passage of The Mutiny & Quartering Acts of 1765 a. Legislation designed to permanently station up to 50,000 British Army regulars to North America (scattered along the Atlantic Coast in the major cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chesapeake Bay Area, Charleston, S.C.) 1.) There’d never been that many regular army troops in North America except during wars 2.) They’d never been any permanent troops stationed in North America b. Legislation designed to permit the British government to house troops in American homes 1.) Service in the British Army was a punishment meted out to convicted criminals and psychopaths 2.) An Englishman in England would NEVER be required to house a British soldier c. And the Crisis Grows 5. British Parliamentary Passage of The Townshend Duties (Import taxes designed by Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to Secretary of the Treasury in U.S. nowadays) Lord Charles Townshend…pronounced “townzend” if you ever happen to run into him) a. Taxed: tea, glass, lead, paper, and paint upon import b. Stimulated Philadelphia lawyer, John Dickinson, to write A Letter From Philadelphian Farmer, one of the most articulate protests of the Imperial Crisis focused on taxation without representation.IV. Growth of “The Conspiracy Against Liberty” Crisis Explanation (which expands the crisis) A. By 1767, many Americans, trying to understand what had happened to the heretofore friendly relationship between the North American colonies and Great Britain, latched onto an explanation for the continuing crisis that becomes known as “The Conspiracy Against Liberty” B. “The Conspiracy Against Liberty” is an oversimplification of the Crisis of Empire that insists that the problems between England and America were the result of a conspiracy driven by corrupt ministers of the king to subvert American freedom. (It’s not true, but it sure as hell makes the problems easier to understand and other contemporaneous events conveniently explicable.) C. Contemporaneous Events (1760s) 1. “The Wilkes Affair” a. John Wilkes was an English rabble rouser b. A seat in the House of Commons opened up c. Election in a working class part of London d. Elected John Wilkes (!) e. Election voided f. Second Election: Elected John Wilkes (!!) g. Warrant Issued for Wilkes’ arrest h. Wilkes’ fled to France to avoid arrest i. In America this series of events is interpreted as proof of the Conspiracy Against Liberty…the conspirators were not content with undermining American liberties now they were undermining British ones…they’d refused to seat a twice duly elected Member of Parliament!!! 2. The Rumor of the Arrival of an Anglican Bishop a. Started thanks to a Virginia request for a Bishop! (Virginia was dominated by the Anglican church…you can learn more about this is Holmes’ book.) b. In other parts of the colonies, particularly New England settled by Bishop-hating Puritans, this is just another attempt to undermine American liberty. c. No British Bishop could be paid enough to live in the colonies in some tree…made little difference to someone who was inclined to believe in the conspiracy theory. 3. The “Boston Massacre” (March, 1770) a. Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty were early voices for American independence b. In the predawn weeks before the “Boston Massacre,” Sam and the Sons had burned down the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson’s, house c. By March, they decided to “protest” the Townshend Duties by telling the British soldiers guarding the Customs House, how much they hated both the Duties and them. d. As they were explaining all this to the soldiers, someone was about to torch the Customs House. The soldiers opened fire. Three fell dead, eight were wounded, two later died of their wounds. The event is known as The Boston Massacre or “The Incident on King Street” in England. This doesn’t sound like much of a massacre, but that’s not how the event was reported at the time. Reports sounded something like, “It’s not enough that the conspirators against our liberties deny us land that we fought, bled, and died for (Proclamation Line), or that they tax us unmercifully without our constitutionally guaranteed consent (Revenue Act and Stamp Act). It’s not enough that they demand that we house English lunatics in our homes and threaten us with martial law (Mutiny and Quartering Acts), and they threaten us with religious bigots in our midst (arrival of a British Anglican Bishop). Now, they’re shooting us down in the streets! e. The Imperial Crisis is becoming revolution, and that gets us to the next topic: Nationalism, Part Two Question #3The American Cultural Commitment to Nationalism: Part III. By 1770 Many Americans (not all) want change in the relationship that existed between Great Britain and the North American Colonies—don’t agree on what the change should be. A. Extreme Right Wing: “Imperial Conservatives” (using the word in its most legitimate sense: “to keep/conserve”) 1. Base their position on “The Rights of Freeborn Englishmen” (the problems between Great Britain and the colonies can be repaired simply by claiming the rights available to all Englishmen…particularly the right to petition for redress of grievances) 2. Objective: To remain within the protective folds of the British Empire (British fleet protects American shipping and British arms protect the American land mass.) 3. Examples: John Dickinson and Joseph Galloway (well known critics of British policy, but retain their commitment to British nationalism) B. Extreme Left Wing: “Radicals” (using the word as a descriptive not accusation: advocating the “most extreme” position) 1. Base their position on: “The Natural Rights of Man” (Can’t use “legal rights” since there was no legal right to overthrow the government…instead focus on the amor
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