I though about taking the day off from posting for the holiday, but in the end, I thought that maybe I should forget about the 4th of July fireworks and give the history and the truth about our Independence Day. I don’t know of a public school that has taught it quite like this.
The basic knowledge (I didn’t say correct) of the 4th of July is that we declared the revolution against the British. We declared our independence on a piece of parchment and got some signatures. Everyone celebrated and the Liberty Bell got a crack from getting hit so hard.
Our patriotic founding fathers that held strong against the King of Britain were not the stand-up guys that we claim that they are… at least from a law standpoint. They were considered felon’s by the prevailing law at that time. They were courageous, God-fearing, and fed up!
They hated government, made a document against the old one, and made a hand-written straight jacket (constitution) to run the new one, because they knew that, even though government is necessary to protect their rights, that same domestic state was the biggest threat to citizens liberties! Not only that, but the Constitution wasn’t approved without the demand of the Bill of Rights to be added. They put in place for the people the rights necessary to protect their freedoms from federal infringement.
Those “traitors” in April of 1775 declared war against Great Britain. Early on there was a very impressive turnout for the war, but once people started realizing how long it would actually take, the volunteers started waning off and by late 1776, the colonies had to start cash incentives. They even ended up drafting in 1778. The war wasn’t just an overwhelming amount of American’s solidly against the British and that was that. An estimated 15-20% of American Loyalists supported the crown, many of which fought on the side of red. Not only that, but Natives were also in the war. Some against the Brits, and some for them. Those that sided with the Kingdom, pretty much lost their land in the Peace of Paris Treaty, and those on the side of the traitors fared a little better for a little while, but ultimately lost theirs also. The native “redcoats” really only fought with the Brits because they thought they could save their land. By a gutsy move in 1781, the war was basically ended, but not officially till 1783 when the peace treaty was signed.
There is belief that the liberty bell (now located at 525 Market St, Philadelphia, PA, 19106) was NOT broken by a celebration on July 4th, 1777. It had been improperly cast and had this defect break and get recast and broken several times. It is believed that the bell was intact through the war and was probably not rang on the 4th, but may have been rang with the rest of the city’s other bells when the Declaration of Independence was read aloud.
Paul Revere wasn’t a solo rider, but was part of a well thought out early warning system. The system was lantern based. Revere was caught off-guard, yet he did make it to Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that they would probably be arrested with a fellow rider, William Dawes.
Although this is the main purpose for the 4th of July, I wanted to wait unlil last to tackle the story. Like I said earlier, the basic knowledge that the DOI was signed on the 4th, is a little bit of another error in common historic teaching. The first draft of the DOI was written by Thomas Jefferson. Congress actually declared our independence on July 2nd, 1776. By this time the DOI was still a draft only signed by the Congressional Leader John Hancock, and Secretary of Congress, Charles Thompson. John Adams even wrote to his wife Abigail that he predicted that July 2nd would be a holiday. It was read aloud in the city on July 8th. The DOI was finally signed August 2, 1776 and was delivered to Great Britain that following November.
So why the 4th? That was when congress stopped hashing out the draft that was submitted on the 2nd. They all finally agreed to the wording. That is the date that was attached to the newest revision that was signed in August. And did you know it wasn’t even recognized as a national holiday until 1870… almost a century later?
All of these dates and such are just for accuracy, but the truth of the story is that a bunch of guys that were ticked off at a government that was consistently removing their rights as men. These men declared war against a tyrannical monarchy, and their independence from the same. They gave us, in writing, all of our rights that serve to protect us from tyranny.
So when you celebrate this 4th, remember that you are celebrating a bunch of traitors that was sick of living in tyranny and decided to fight the governing body of the time. Then they created another government, but one that was supposed to have their hands bound too tight to infringe on our rights…
Even though not everyone can be a warrior, everyone can keep watch. You can all be a watchman and flag it when something doesn’t add up. You can stand up for your rights and the rights of others, by being apathetic to the tyrant, and just do what you feel you need to do. Don’t be apathetic in a way to justify ignorance, be apathetic in a way that justifies your ability to do what is right for you and your family.
I go more in-depth in my podcast: The Prepper Podcast Episode 037: Author of, Who Signed, and Why Declaration of Independence Important
We can learn a thing or two from the “Sons of Liberty.” Here are a couple Youtube videos that I showed my children when teaching them about the DOI:
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