I want my students to think like historians! When talking about the American Revolution - many historians wonder when colonial unity happened? For the colonists to win they had to be united! They defeated the greatest military power in the world at that time (1783).
Many point to the Albany Plan during the French and Indian War. Under Mercantilism the colonies got free protection from England. They never had to protect themselves. They were not trained or ready, but now the war is being fought in their own back yard. Could they defend themselves? Albany Plan is called to help unite the colonies. There Ben Franklin introduces his Join or Die Cartoon. Telling the colonies they must unite, or die! The snake represents the colonies. At that moment the were in pieces and they needed to come together!
It worked because they won! But then the Road to the Revolution happened! To what extent were they united? Upset with England definitely brought them together, but they were divided on what they wanted to accomplish. The central question was could the colonies govern themselves? A great scene from The Patriot debates whether they should declare independence? Mel Gibson quotes Mather Boyles, "Is it better to be ruled by one tyrant 3,000 miles away, or 3,000 tyrants one mile a way?"