America celebrates on July 4th of every year because of the Declaration of Independence. Written to free colonists from British rule, the United States remembers its liberty every year. Most celebrations include family and friends coming together, usually in outdoor parties. BBQ’s, fireworks, parades and boat rides are very common on the fourth of July.
Before the Declaration of Independence, Britain ran America. As England had just been in the French and Indian War, the country was in debt. Colonists paid higher taxes to the monarchy than regular citizens of the country, trying to make up the lost money. The thirteen colonies also had to follow rules made by the Parliament of Great Britain, even though there was no representative to speak on their behalf.
In protest, the colonists boycotted English products that forced such high taxes, including clothes, paper, glass and tea. In 1773 during the Boston Tea Party, colonists threw tea over a ship, showing how frustrated they had become. When colonists tried to elect their own officials, Britain even sent combat troops to stop them. These fights lead to the beginning of the Revolutionary War and later the passing of the Declaration of Independence.
The American Revolution began in 1775 in Massachusetts. Native American’s mostly sided with England, trying to reclaim their land, as did almost a fourth of the colonists. President George Washington led the US Army and signed the Declaration of Independence. At the same time Benjamin Franklin went to the French King for help. France accepted and in 1777 France, Spain and the Netherlands came to help America. Because of all the support from allies, or friends of the country, the United States became its own Independent country.
Written by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration declared Independence from the British Empire almost a year after the American Revolutionary War had begun. Although people disagree on whether or not the Declaration was signed on the fourth of July, it is certain that it was passed through Congress on that date. The United States’ founding fathers all signed the Declaration of Independence, even though it was a risk. If the war was lost, all signers would be tried for treason by England. Because of this bravery, the political leaders and statesmen are celebrated within America as the Founding Fathers.
Founding Fathers of the United States were very influential men, not just for their involvement in the Declaration. George Washington was the first President of the United States, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and a Senior Officer of the US Army. Thomas Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, the third President of America and the first Secretary of State. James Madison was the fourth President of the United States, the author of the Bill of Rights and Jefferson’s Secretary of State. John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the United States and the President of the Continental Congress, or the President of the US before America had separated from England. Alexander Hamilton was a soldier, lawyer and the first Secretary of the Treasury. Benjamin Franklin was an author, political theorist, a scientist known for discovering electricity and inventing glasses. He also founded public libraries and fire departments. John Adams was the second President of the United States, a lawyer, diplomat and a political theorist.
At that time there was no flag for the United States as it was a new country. The First National Flag was used during the war and then redesigned to the Grand Union Flag. This was made with stripes and a rectangle in the top left that looked very similar to the British East India Company. In 1777 the flag known today began, with stripes in red and white with stars in a blue field. In 1818 it was decided that the stars would represent any new state and stripes would remain at 13 to represent the original colonies. Every time a new state is added, the new flag is released the following Fourth of July.
Freedom is an important part of every American’s everyday life. Because of the work the Founding Fathers and US soldiers have done, American’s have the right to an education, can say what they want to and kids can go to school. The Fourth of July is a fun day, but it is also a reminder that Freedom doesn’t come free. The US is very lucky to have the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. They protect all American’s, including kids, safety and natural rights.