The fourth of July is America’s Independence Day, celebrating their victory over England in the Revolutionary war which began on July 4, 1776. People all over the United States celebrate this holiday, traditionally using fireworks and grill outs to mark the event. Here you’ll find a little history on this holiday.
The Declaration of Independence
The fourth of July is considered to represent America’s birthday, as it was the day the Declaration of Independence was announced, which was basically a notice to England that their loyal colonists had decided to form their own country in the new world, and that they wanted to absolve themselves of all ties with England. It served as not only a declaration of Independence, but also a declaration of war, since England was not going to easily allow these “rebels” as they refer to them as to break ties with the motherland.
The declaration had actually been approved by Congress, however, two days prior, on July 2nd. They had been considering the matter since June of 1776. However, the holiday has always been traditionally celebrated on the fourth, beginning in 1777 when gunshots were fired in the morning and evening in Rhode Island in commemoration of the Colonists’ legal separation from the Kingdom of England.
Establishment of the United States
The United States was established as a country in 1776. Prior to that it had been a collection of colonies made up of English settlers. Some of the colonists came to the united states to pursue religious freedom, while others saw the formation of colonies in the new world as an opportunity to make money by establishing themselves in the new world. Many colonists open businesses, which were heavily taxed by England.
The Boston Tea Party
During an event known as the Boston Tea Party, many settlers banded together and dumped crate after crate of tea in the Boston harbor. The message they were sending to England was twofold. One, they were saying that they refused to pay taxes on British items. Secondly, they were making a statement against England itself, since tea is the traditional drink of the English. This was one of the first events in the Revolutionary war.
The Fireworks Gala
Firework stands appear on highways, and many people enjoy fireworks displays cities wide, with many choosing to shoot fireworks off in the middle of cities, and even in their own backyards. Nearly every town has an official fireworks display, at which citizens gather around to watch the fireworks, and appreciate the country’s heritage. The fireworks that have become associated with the holiday are reminiscent of the lines from the country’s national Anthem that makes a reference to “bomb bursting in air” which as the song goes on to say “gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”
While relations between England and the United States are now one of solidarity and alliance, there is no celebration of this holiday in England. Likely, it’s a part of their history they’d rather forget. In contrast, it’s a federal holiday in the United States of America, and a day which citizens of America will always remember and celebrate. The fourth of July is a holiday as American as baseball and apple pie.