4th of July: Stars and Stripes and Fireworks

american flags

On July 4th, American flags adorn the country, and in many places, people gather for picnics and BBQs. Of course, fireworks are also a must. On the most patriotic of all American holidays, the Declaration of Independence from England and the founding of the United States of America are commemorated. How did this come about?

The English monarch had imposed high taxes on the American colonies, and American merchants were not allowed to engage in overseas trade. The colonies in the New World primarily served for exploitation; they had no rights even in parliament. The citizens of the 13 North American provinces revolted against the exploitation by the British and demanded more sovereignty, trade freedom, and tax reductions.

The discontent of the colonists escalated to the Boston Tea Party, where the cargo of three ships, namely tea, was dumped in the Boston Harbor. In response, the English government dissolved the Massachusetts Parliament and sent more troops to the colonies. The Americans also began to establish armed militias. On April 18, 1775, Englishmen and colonists clashed for the first time in Lexington. The settler force was led by a representative of the Virginia Parliament, George Washington.

Although the American militia emerged as victors from the conflict, the settlers lacked weapons, supplies, and training. The colonists were not only fighting against English soldiers and Native Americans but also against paid troops from Hesse and Brunswick. Exhausting victories and defeats alternated for both sides. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress, the representative body of the 13 North American states, adopted the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming the separation from England and the sovereignty of the "United States of America." The author of the Declaration of Independence was the future third president, Thomas Jefferson. Later on, the Americans, also supported by the French, grew stronger. In 1783, England recognized the independence of the United States.