America the Beautiful

America the Beautiful

Since today is the Fourth of July, we figured we would provide you all with a little background on the significance of this holiday.  With the political climate of our country, everyone claims to be a self-proclaimed expert these days, however few people know the history of this day.  So while most of you (I hope) know the July 4th commemorates the adoption of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring that thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer apart of the British Empire, here are a couple things you may not know:
  • Independence Day was Actually Declared on July Second - The legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies occurred on July 2nd, with Congress voting for independence. However, Congress wanted to create a Declaration of Independence, to explain its decision to legally separate from Britain.  However, due to some revisions the document was not adopted until July 4th and the rest is history.
  • There Originally was only Twelve Colonies – New York abstained from the vote of independence on July 2nd and did not decide to join until July 19th, making it the thirteenth colony.
  • Independence Originated As a State Act – The very first Declaration of Independence was signed by Massachusetts on October 4, 1774 (21 months before Congress' adoption). During the next 21 months a total of 90 state and local declarations of independence were made.  Congress followed suit thereafter.
  • American Troops Did not Fight under the American Flag during the Revolution – The Fourth of July is always accompanied by flag waiving, however the soldiers of the American Revolution did not fight under the American flag. At that time, the flag was not particularly important and varied among infantries. 
  • America Is Not a Democracy – People often associate democracy with freedom. But the fact is we are a republic.  Our Founding Fathers considered this distinction important and claimed that democracy was both extreme and dangerous as it would result in the oppression of the minority by the majority.  This is the reason we have such a unique system of checks and balances.

America is the greatest country in the world, providing each of us freedoms beyond those in any other country.  To appreciate its uniqueness it is important to understand the history and the sacrifices made by those brave men.  In between the parties, take some time today to appreciate all of the freedoms you have as an American.