Kind of an interesting thing to think about, though I don’t think it could be taken to indicate that 1700s Brits sounded like Midwestern Americans — which is sort of how the article comes across. Really it’s just that the British pronunciation of certain sounds developed around the time of the colonies.
Reading David McCullough’s 1776, I found myself wondering: Did Americans in 1776 have British accents? If so, when did American accents diverge from British accents?
The answer surprised me.
I’d always assumed that Americans used to have British accents, and that American accents diverged…