America

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America

America is the stereotype for countries wounded by salutary neglect and looking to set themselves free.  All countries do not decide to become separate from their mother overnight, it is a long, drawn-out process that requires many actions and reactions, plus unity and nationalism.  The American Colonies were strained to the limit before they became one to battle injustice.  England had put forth too many acts and duties against it's American colonies for them not to rebel.  For example, the Stamp Act.  The Stamp Act was introduced by the British prime minister George Grenville and passed by the British Parliament in 1765 as a means of raising revenue in the American colonies. The Stamp Act required all legal documents, licenses, commercial contracts, newspapers, pamphlets, and playing cards to carry a tax stamp.  The act extended to the colonies the system of stamp duties then employed in Great Britain and was intended to raise money to defray the cost of maintaining the military defenses of the colonies. Passed without debate, it aroused widespread opposition among the colonists, who argued that because they were not represented in Parliament, they could not legally be taxed without their consent.  Opposition culminated in the convening of the Stamp Act Congress to consider organized means of protesting against the tax, a joining of American forces for the good of the colonies.  Colonial businessmen agreed to stop importing British goods until the act was repealed, and trade was substantially diminished. Refusal to use the stamps on business papers became common, and the courts would not enforce their use on legal documents.  The Stamp Act helped enflame the fire burning in American bodies of independence.  Richard Henry Lee wrote to Arthur Lee in 1774, (Document C) saying "The wicked violence of the Ministry is so clearly expressed, as to leave no doubt of their fatal determination to ruin both countries unless a powerful and timely check is interposed by the Body of People...all N. America is now most firmly united and as firmly resolved to defend their liberties ad infinitum against every power on Earth that may attempt to take them away."  Americans realized that England was stealing their rights, and they began to join together.  It wasn't an individual against England, it was the country against England.  Salutary Neglect was the cause of all American problems.  It was the precursor to all the troubles.  Salutary Neglect was the negligence of England toward the colonies for reasons such as war or distance.  Letting the America's live one way for decades, then becoming strict on them, did not work for either the colonies or Britain.  In 1754, a meeting in Albany, NY, of commissioners representing seven British colonies in North America to form a treaty with the Iroquois, chiefly because war with France, impended. A treaty was concluded, but the Native Americans of Pennsylvania were resentful of a land purchase made by that colony at Albany and allied themselves with the French in the ensuing French and Indian War. The meeting was notable as an example of cooperation among the colonies, but Benjamin Franklin's Plan of Union (Document A) for the colonies, though voted upon favorably at Albany, was refused by the colonial legislatures (and by the crown) as demanding too great a surrender of their powers.  This congress showed Americans could represent themselves and did not need to be virtually represented in parliament.  Colonist despised virtual representation, as evident in document "B".  Edmund Burke writes "Govern America as you govern an English town which happens not to be represented in Parliament?"  The colonies did not feel that they should be governed by a power that does not care about them.  They cannot be governed without say in a government.  Would England govern London without representation?  No.  Therefore, it is not fair for the American colonies.  England once again is pushing America to revolt.  Document E states, " ... the arms have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die freemen, rather than live like slaves."  This quote comes from the Continental Congress on