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 Basics: 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.
The Men: 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.
The War: 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.
The Liberty Bell: There is belief that the liberty bell 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 in tact 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’s Ride: Paul Revere wasn’t a solo rider, but was part of a well thought out early warning system. The system was latern based. Revere was caught offguard, 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.
The DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (DOI): 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 perdicted 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. What is even more where 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 consistantly removing their rights as men. These men declared war againt 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…
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