Emerging modernity was an Atlantic world phenomenon affecting both Western Europe and North America. One concomitant of modernity is the loss of an automatic sense of identity, thus the individual is engaged, not always consciously, in the ongoing work of acquiring an identity. Identity is a dynamic phenomenon constructed by groups and individuals in relation to the world as they perceive it. Print-capitalism, based in the vernacular language, provided a common ground of communication, which created a sense of horizontal connection among vernacular-speakers that hastened the movement to national consciousness. British Unionism rested, fundamentally, on an extension of the domain of the English Crown and the English Parliament". Progress as a transcendent ideology united Great Britain and the colonies in an overarching British identity. Colonial fiction was often set in a remote British or European past as a means of connecting the new land, lacking in ancient history, with the old.