Americans are celebrating the Fourth of July, which marks an event of massive historical significance for the country. If you\’re unsure of why Americans celebrate it, or where it comes from, here is everything you need to know. What is it? The Fourth of July is the most significant national holiday in the. It celebrates the Declaration of Independence, adopted on 4 July, 1776. The Thirteen Colonies of America declared themselves to be states and no longer part of the, though the revolutionary war continued for some time after. Whatвs the story behind it? The original United States of America was made up of a collection of East Coast states known as the Thirteen Colonies. These were: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. These mainly agricultural colonies were run by the British -Вwho had been present on the continent since 1587 – and exploited for their resources, in particular tobacco. В
While the relationship between the settlers and British was once amicable, tensions began to escalate over British laws and taxes, such as the Sugar Act, driven by British financial needs. There was also a growing sense of nationalism in the country. В From 1765, some settlers began to demand \”no taxation without representation\”, calling for their voices to be heard in the British parliament. В This tension sometimes erupted into fighting and acts of dissent, such as the Boston Tea Party in. The event was a protest against the Tea Act, legislation which gave the British East India Company a monopoly on sales of tea in the Thirteen Colonies.
В Further ill feeling was caused by the Coercive Acts в which became known as the \”Intolerable Acts\”В to American Patriots в which were implemented in response to the Boston Tea Party. The laws took power away from semi-autonomous Massachusetts. In response to these factors, Continental Congresses в a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies в were convened. At the second meeting, in 1775, a war of independence against Britain was declared. В The next year, the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 representatives of thirteen self-styled states (previously the Thirteen Colonies). The signatories included future president Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. The conflict continued until the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the war in favour of an independent America. В How has it been celebrated through history? В Fireworks, speeches, parties, feasts and general celebrations have marked the day since the 18thВ century. In Bristol, Rhode Island, there was a salute of 13 gunshots in the morning and evening in 1777. The town has held the nation\’s longest running Independence Day celebration. В In 1778, George Washington, then a general in the revolutionary army, issued his troops with a double rum ration. В The first recorded music commemorating independence was the вPslam of Joyв, written by Johann Friedrich Peter in Salem, North Carolina. В Many towns and cities across the US have their own annual celebrations.
В How has the government marked it? Congress made the day an unpaid national holiday for federal workers in 1870, and in 1938 it became a paid holiday across the country. Government officials also take part in celebratory functions and make speeches. В How do people celebrate it today? Firework displays and parties are the most well-known activities associated with Independence Day. All major cities have fireworks displays and there is also one given by the White House. As a national holiday, it also serves as an occasion for reunions and vacations. В If there s one certainty on the Fourth of July, it s that Americans will come together to celebrate it with grilled food, family, and fireworks. Despite these annual traditions, there is a certain level of mystery surrounding the holiday s origins. On Independence Day, Americans celebrate the legal separation of the country s original Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain. was chosen in particular since it has been historically documented as the day the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, formally announcing their decision to separate. This occurred in 1776, during the Revolutionary War. But technically, Americans could just as well celebrate the country s independence on July 2. The second day of JulyБrather than the fourthБwas the actual day America declared its independence from British rule. But after officially voting for separation from Great Britain, it took the Second Continental Congress a full two days of debate and revisions before finally signing the Declaration of Independence.
Even John Adams, one of the five principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, assumed that the country would БThe second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more. Б Despite AdamsБ prediction being off by two days, Americans have always celebrated the holiday on July Fourth. The resolution of independence was approved during a closed session of Congress, in contrast to the highly publicized signing of the Declaration of Independence two days later. Historians also debate whether members of Congress actually signed the declaration on July 4, although Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin all later attested to signing it on that day. Despite the common conception, many historians now believe that the document was in fact signed on August 2, nearly a month after its official adoption. Even though the dates go back and forth, the celebrations have largely stayed the same. Americans commemorated the very first Fourth of July with an official dinner for the Continental Congress, toasts, speeches, music, parades, and fireworks. The red, white, and blue decorations havenБt changed 241 years later.