My questions concern the people living in the thirteen colonies at the time of the Revolutionary war. These people where French citizens, British subjects, Poles, Germans...how did they become American citizens? What if you didn't want to become an American citizen? Was there some sort of procedure involved?
To: Luis Gonzalez
I believe if you were present here at the end of the war, you became a citizen under the terms of the treaty which ended the war, and again under the constitution. The documents are at Project Avalon
. You might be able to get an answer there. I couldn't. It may just be that when territory passed from one government to another, the people went with it. You could say that the Declaration of Independence made us Americans or Massachusans, Virginians, New Yorkers, etc. but many at that point would have wanted to remain subjects of the King.
If you were still loyal to the British King, you might have been during the war or at its end. But I've heard that well into the 19th Century, there were women in the cities of the East collecting pensions their husbands had earned from their service to the King. And there were also Tory families on both sides of the Atlantic who longed to get their property back. I don't know if they ever did.
What interests me is how people in the Dutch Hudson River Valley or the Swedish Delaware or Gaelic Cape Fear or Huguenot New Palz or Charleston, or German Pennsylvania, or the Irish frontier, came to think of themselves as part of one country with the Puritans, Quakers and the Cavaliers. Some of them never did, and remained loyal to the King, but others threw themselves into the cause of national independence.
posted on 12/03/2001 9:49:16 PM PST
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