Aftermore than a century and a half of English colonial settlement in North America,a coalition of British colonies along the east coast declared theirindependence from the British crown in the summer of 1776. In the seven yearsthat followed, a bloody war raged, pitting British soldiers and loyal colonistsagainst revolutionary colonists who identified themselves as American. TheAmerican Revolution took shape not immediately in the mid-1770s, but over thecourse of many years. The path to revolution was laid out clearly in 1763 withthe end of the Seven Years War between Britain and France, in which manyAmerican colonists had fought for Britain. Over the next 13 years, a series ofpolicy decisions by the British Parliament alienated and enraged various groupsof colonists, who slowly crafted a distinct national identity.
However, it was not a smooth, easy path to theDeclaration of Independence. No, it was a hard, daunting task because of factorslike vast differences between the people living in America, and the problemsthe British were imposing at the time. Sincethe early 1600s, English colonies in North America had been home to a widevariety of people, from different economic classes, ethnic and religioustraditions, races, and regions. Thesefactors made the formation of an anti-British alliance pretty difficult.
Questionsarose frequently about whether or not being free from the British would beadvantageous towards them and their class or if it were just a plan to prosperthe elite even more. In the video JamesFraser commented on this question by saying “the whole argument misses thepoint”. Fraser continues to say thatwhile there was one actual revolution he believes that there were severaldifferent American revolutions that were waged by several different groups ofpeople who in many cases were hostile to each other, and had little commoninterest, but a common enemy in the British Empire.
This diversity, while itdid end up in the backing of the Declaration of independence, ultimately slowedthe anti-British coalition down. This ofcourse added to the challenges that avid anti-British colonists faced incultivating a new national identity. Itis quite impressive how the ideal to break free from Britain ultimately wonover the majority of people despite their vast diversity.