The Thirteen Colonies which declared independence from Britain in 1776 were on the east coast. A small slice of what is today the USA. The population of roughly 2.4 million people were predominantly from the British Isles. The British and French had just fought a war in the 1750s where the Colonists would have felt like pawns (like the C20th Cold War). It was the North American mirror of the Seven Year War. The French and American Revolutions that are founders of Nationalism followed. The French Revolution overthrew the monarchy (bankrupted by Wars). The American Revolution argued for "no taxation without representation" - rebelling against rule from afar. I struggle with how the enlightenment led away from Empires but towards race-based Nations. To empower 'The People', artificial barriers like flags, anthems, languages, borders, and national institutions need to be created. A lesson in unintended consequences, even of noble ideals.