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 Independence Day is a marked by patriotic displays. Similar to other summer-themed events, Independence Day celebrations often take place outdoors. Independence Day is a federal holiday, so all non-essential federal institutions (such as the and ) are closed on that day. Many politicians make it a point on this day to appear at a public event to praise the nation\’s heritage, laws, history, society, and people.
Families often celebrate Independence Day by hosting or attending a picnic or barbecue; many take advantage of the day off and, in some years, a long weekend to gather with relatives or friends. Decorations ( e. g. , streamers, balloons, and clothing) are generally colored red, white, and blue, the colors of the. Parades are often held in the morning, before family get-togethers, while fireworks displays occur in the evening after dark at such places as parks, fairgrounds, or town squares. The night before the Fourth was once the focal point of celebrations, marked by raucous gatherings often incorporating as their centerpiece. In, towns competed to build towering pyramids, assembled from barrels and casks. They were lit at nightfall to usher in the celebration. The highest were in, with pyramids composed of as many as forty tiers of barrels. These made the tallest bonfires ever recorded. The custom flourished in the 19th and 20th centuries and is still practiced in some towns. Independence Day are often accompanied by patriotic songs such as the \” \”, \” \”, \”,\” \”,\” \”,\” \”,\” and, regionally, \” \” in northeastern states and \” \” in southern states. Some of the lyrics recall images of the or the. Firework shows are held in many states, and many fireworks are sold for personal use or as an alternative to a public show.
Safety concerns have led some states to ban fireworks or limit the sizes and types allowed. In addition, local and regional weather conditions may dictate whether the sale or use of fireworks in an area will be allowed. Some local or regional firework sales are limited or prohibited because of dry weather or other specific concerns. On these occasions the public may be prohibited from purchasing or discharging fireworks, but professional displays (such as those at sports events) may still take place, if certain safety precautions have been taken. A salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a \”salute to the union,\” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base. In 2009, New York City had the largest fireworks display in the country, with more than 22 tons of pyrotechnics exploded. It generally holds displays in the East River. Other major displays are in Chicago on ; in San Diego over ; in Boston on the ; in on the ; in San Francisco over the ; and on the in Washington, D. C. During the annual, hosts one of the world\’s largest fireworks displays, over the, to celebrate Independence Day in conjunction with \’s celebration of. The first week of July is typically one of the busiest United States travel periods of the year, as many people use what is often a three-day holiday weekend for extended vacation trips.