During the years 1700 to 1770, the American colonies and England were drawing closer together. The main cause of this drawing together is the American colonist wishing to keep their heritage. The colonists in American sought to emulate the English lifestyle they left behind. The three main reasons for the drawing closer together are the European Enlightenment, the colonists wishing to copy the English sophisticated lifestyle, and the shift from a production society to a consumer society in the American colonies.
One of the most important movements in history, the European Enlightenment, played a major role in the connection between the American colonies and England. During the Enlightenment, many new ideas and theories became contemporized and more commonly discussed and accepted. Logic and human reasoning were considered to be the “correct” ways to view the world. For example, medicine and medicinal practices became less about a family remedy and more about clear, precise instructions and ingredients that combined would create a certain scientific reaction that boosting health once more. Though the American colonists discussed and accepted most of the philosophies of the Enlightenment, they rejected the anti-religious notions in favor of keeping their own religion (that being the reason many of the American colonists came to the colonies in the first place). Because of the increase in human interaction and the sharing of ideas and concepts, people in both England and the American colonies were brought together.
Though the colonists moved away from England, they still tried to copy English culture. To keep with the customs of the time, wealthy colonists, mostly lawyers, merchants, and doctors, sponsored concerts and plays. Many learned how to dance for formal occasions. Both men and women desired to follow the high London fashions. It was common for American-born colonists to look like they had just arrived from England, even if they had never been there. Dressing according to London couture was a cultural cue that an individual or family had ties to England. Because the colonists imitated the styles and fashion of their home country, they drew closer to England as cultural ties became stronger.
In addition to wanting the same culture and couture as the British, the American colonists also wanted the same material goods as the British. Due to the fertile land in the colonies, the colonists were able to produce more crops that they could sell at a profit and earn more income that they could spend on English furnishings. American-born colonists, who inherited their family’s money, bought more British goods than their grandparents or parents did, as they could now afford to. Items such as china, silver, and cloth replaced American made items like earthenware and pewter. As time progressed, British imported goods soon outnumbered American exports. With all the British goods, it is clear that the American colonies drew closer to England during the 1700’s to the 1770’s.
Though the 1700’s-1770 are thought of as being a time when America was on the verge of revolution it is clear that, though the British did treat the America colonists as second-class citizens, the American colonist wished to draw closer to their motherland. Perhaps it was because of economic reasons, or maybe it was because of the new swell of American-born colonists that didn’t care for religion as much as their ancestors. In any case it is quite obvious that during the 1700’s to the 1770’s, the American colonies were drawing closer to England rather than separating themselves.
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