The History of the 4th of July


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The History of the 4th of July

The 4th of July or Independence Day in the United States is a national holiday. On July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.

It was a long hard battle for the 13 colonies that made up the United States back in the 1700’s. During this time, the colonies were still under the rule of England and King George III. Everyone in the colonies were still paying taxes to England and did not any type of representation in the English Parliament. Since, they did not have any representation they also had no say in anything that was decided by Parliament. This began to cause quite an unrest among the colonies and rebellion against King George and the “Taxation without Representation.” King George subsequently sent more troops to aid in controlling the colonists. The 13 colonies in 1774, sent delegates to Philadelphia Pennsylvania to form the First Continental Congress. At this time, the delegates were very unhappy with England but declaring war was something only discussed and not put into action.

Paul Revere sounded the alarm when King George’s troops arrived in Concord Massachusetts in April 1775, by riding his horse through the night alerting everyone with "The British are coming, the British are coming". This battle was the beginning of the war for the independence of the colonies.

In June 1776, a committee was formed that would create a formal declaration of independence. Chosen to be the head of the committee was Thomas Jefferson. The others on this committee included John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman. Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft and it was presented to congress on June 28, 1776. Some changes were made and a vote was taken on July 4th. The vote from the 13 colonies included 9 voted in favor of the Declaration, Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against, Delaware voted undecided and New York Abstained. Making it official John Hancock, who was the president of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence.

From that day forward, America has celebrated the 4th of July as their Independence Day and their freedom from the rule of England. The first Independence Day was celebrated the very next year on July 4th, 1777. Beginning in the 1800’s traditions for such activities as parades, fireworks, and picnics were included in the celebrations. Today, you can enjoy many different celebrations and events on the 4th of July to commemorate our freedom from England.

The History of the 4th of July

The History of the 4th of July

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