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Historical Background

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Colonials and Patriots
Historical Background

THE YEARS SKETCHED out here, 1700-1783, were very momentous ones in the history of our land. From shaky beginnings, and often through great travail, the English Colonies on the mainland of North America had for the most part passed through their infancy by 1700. Some were still quite young, and the 13th colony had not yet been established, but the point of no return had long since been passed for many Englishmen-turned-Americans. Long before 1775 the colonials had drifted away from dependence upon the mother country. Along with independent thought came independent actions, which in time produced political maturity. The English colonials became American patriots, and a new nation emerged. The transition was not sudden, as it is sometimes represented. Max Savelle observed that the War for Independence was "not so much for independence, as for the recognition of a maturity and a de facto nationhood that already existed." [1]

Map I. Development of the English Colonies, 1700-1775. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

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Last Updated: 09-Jan-2005