United States Nationalism

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Instead, a strong sense of ‘state nationalism’ emerged in the United States, leading citizens to identify as primarily members of their state before their country. In the 1760s the first inklings of an ‘American Nationalism’ came forward from the push to gain political representation within the British government, which then quickly turned into the need to separate from England to form a new government and nation. When England passed the Stamp Act of 1964, the colonists were prompted to fight together against an unfair government. This united front helped them to form a national identity concerning what they would and would not stand for against a tyrannical government. Patriotism first appeared in the 1760s, but with that Loyalism also came…show more content…
With the difficulty of ratifying a constitution that all states and people could agree upon, the dichotomy between American nationalism and more of a ‘state’ nationalism became more apparent. De Crevecouer in 1782 famously asked the question ‘What then is the American, this new man?’ when trying to figure out what the new identity for Americans was intended to be. He answered his own question in saying “He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners, receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank he holds...” . The importance of ‘leaving behind all his ancient… manners’ shows that, even years after the revolution, there was still a divide in cultures within the United States. Uniting Americans under one common set of values would strengthen the country and allow for the United States to become the new land of freedom and equality that had been envisioned. Another man famous for questioning what the new ‘America’ was to be was Daniel Shays. In 1787 he, among four other men, speak out against what they saw as the threat of imminent tyranny to Hampshire declaring “… the people of the county of Hampshire immediately assemble in arms, to support and maintain, not only the rights and liberties of the people...” . Still, even with the push for an American nationalism by Federalists, the states saw the federal government as a means for tyranny and complete control over the states. Having just recently fought for their independence from a different tyrannical power, the strong sense of pride for their countrymen and state prompted each state to look inwards for government rather than to a higher power. While each state
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