All You Need To Know About Independence Day
Post date: July 3, 2017
What is the 4th of July?
The simple answer is – 4th of July is one of the most important holidays in the US, because it celebrates the declaration of United States’ Independence. It happened on the 4th of July in 1776, when 13 colonies proclaimed to be states, independent from the British Empire. Although independence was proclaimed on the 4th of July, revolutionary war continued until 1783.
What’s the background of the Independence Day?
Prior to the proclamation of the independence states, there were 13 colonies: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Providence Plantations, Rhode Island and New York. Colonies were run by the British Empire, which exploited them for resources since 1587. As time passed, tension arose between the British and the new settlers, because British laws and taxes became unbearable. Moreover, the spirit of nationalism was growing in the country, and it was getting stronger with every decade. These tensions sometimes resulted in fighting and dissent acts, like Boston Tea Party in 1773, where the entire shipment of tea was destroyed as a sign of protest against the monopoly which British East India Company had set on sales of tea in the colonies. Tensions became worse after British Empire had reacted to the Boston Tea Party with Coercive Acts, which are also known as ‘Intolerable Acts’. These acts completely took away the power from the Massachusetts colony. As a result, Continental Congresses, which was a meeting of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies, was organized. On the second meeting in 1775, delegates proclaimed the war against the British Empire aiming to obtain independence. One year later, 56 representatives from all self-styled states signed the Declaration of Independence. Among these 56 people, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, who later became presidents, were present. The conflict was exhausted with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783, which proclaimed America to be an independent country.
How has it been celebrated through history?
Independence Day was celebrated with parties, fireworks, feasts, speeches and general celebrations. A salute of thirteen gunshots, which was symbolic of thirteen states, was shoot on Rhode Island in Bristol in the morning and in the evening in 1777. ‘Psalm of Joy’, which was the 1st recorded music to commemorate the Independence Day was written by Johann Friedrich Peter (North Carolina, Salem). Since 1776, many cities and towns across the country have developed their own unique ways to celebrate the Independence Day.
How is it celebrated today?
Parties and fireworks are the most popular ways to celebrate the Independence Day. One huge firework is given by the White House, and, of course, the president and other important government officials give speeches.
How was it marked by the government?
Since 1870 and until 1938, Independence Day was an unpaid national holiday, but following congress’ decision in 1938, it became a paid holiday across the country.