as a novel idea, as a modern discovery, as a late invention.
The idea of it as a possible thing, as a probable event, nay as a necessary and unavoidable measure, in case Great Britain
should assume an unconstitutional authority over us, has been familiar to Americans
from the first settlement of the country.”
There is, then, a predisposition, a latent or potential Americanism which existed long before the United States
came into being.
Now that our political unity has become a fact, the predisposition is certain to be regarded by our own and by future generations as evidence of a state of mind which made our separate national life inevitable.
Yet to Thomas Hutchinson
, a sound historian and honest man, the last Royal Governor of Massachusetts
, a separate national life seemed in 1770 an unspeakable error and calamity.
The seventeenth-century colonists were predominantly English
, in blood, in traditions, and in impulses.
Whether we look at Virginia
or at the other colonies that were planted in swift succession along the seaboard, it is clear that we are dealing primarily with men of the English
Most of them would have declared, with as much emphasis as Francis Hopkinson