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HIS271Y1 (246)

From Empire to Independence

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271Y From Empire to Independence October 6 2010 The Social, Political, and Economic Roads to Revolution Population becomes more urban Beginnings of inter-colonial relationships Enlightenment and Great Awakening first mass movement across North America Represented a sense of social questioning Both stressed the value of individualism Movement away from older sects: Puritans, Anglicans, etc. Desire to stabilize an anxious society Now that the colonies didnt have to focus so much on surviving, they began to develop socially, culturally, politically, etc. As the relationship between Britain and the colonies changes, we see a greater strain The birth of a consumer culture demonstrated the evolving colonial community th By the early 18 century, a movement towards emphasizing British culture Colonial art, culture, and intellect are defined by contact with England This process was facilitated by the emergence of a colonial elite, who acted as the primary consumers of this British culture Trade was important to linking the colonies to Britain both economically and culturally This consumer culture not only linked colonists with Britain, it linked them with each other Much of what the colonies were producing were for exports, which created relationships between the southern colonies and the northern colonies Manufactured goods that were created in England and carried to the colonies were dispersed throughout the colonies in the same way The consumer revolution touched colonists at all levels of society www.notesolution.comHIS271Y From Empire to Independence October 6 2010 The Social, Political, and Economic Roads to Revolution Material Culture in the Colonies With each passing year, colonists were purchasing more and more British imitated goods Although it begins with the elite, cheaper reproductions begin to be made and bought by poorer colonists These items werent just used by displayed Entertaining becomes more significant in this period In this period, there is a move towards egalitarianism Clothing becomes more ornate Production of cheaper quality fabric to make these clothes, which means poorer colonists could buy them as well People are more interested in a consumer culture (the look of things) These goods could reach the colonies in various ways The point: you could buy the same items in the South as the North (people beginning to look more and more the same) Set an important standard for the social and cultural identity for the colonists on the eve of revolution Consumers, in particular women, were liberated and empowered in their ability to exercise choice in the marketplace. The ability to consume fostered a sense of economic power and independence It is this emergence of a British culture through the consumer revolution that paved the way for the colonists to become Americanized (set a common ground) What factors weakened the bonds of empire? One of the greatest bonds linking empire and colonies was defence Struggle between Britain and France had profound effects in the colonies Englands economy grew to be reliant on the colonies and thus had a greater reason to protect them
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