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5-Minute History Lesson: The Risk & Reward of Independence Day

Posted by Justin on

July 4th is one of the most popular celebrations in the United States, but most people look forward to it primarily for the barbecues and fireworks. To really appreciate Independence Day, you have to know the historical significance of this monumental date.

Let us take you back to history class for five minutes as we break down why Independence Day is so important for every American:


Kicking Off a Wave of Worldwide Revolutions

At its core, Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence: the primary document that announced to the world that the United States was a new country and that the 13 original colonies were legally separated from Great Britain.

The Declaration of Independence was a unique document for its time because nothing like it had ever been written before! Indeed, America’s birth kicked off a wave of revolutions around the world, leading to the rise of democracies that have collectively maintained power in the West ever since.

To Americans, Independence Day celebrates the birth of their nation in a way that the Constitution simply doesn’t. The Declaration of Independence, as its name suggests, declared to the world the intentions of the Founding Fathers, whereas the Constitution is a more technical document designed to outline the structure of the new nation’s government.

Why July 4th?

The lead-up to the Declaration of Independence was fairly complicated. The Second Continental Congress, through a vote in 1776, declared that the original 13 colonies were independent from Great Britain's rule, as well as the tyranny of King George III.

But the vote for independence was just the beginning. Congress then had to write a Declaration of Independence, which was a formal document that would explain the decision and fully acknowledge the danger the Founding Fathers placed themselves in. Indeed, the Declaration of Independence fully admits that the Founding Fathers were committing treason against their host nation.

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The Declaration of Independence was written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, although other members of the Continental Congress contributed here and there, including thinkers like John Adams and Benjamin Franklin.

Technically, the Declaration of Independence was finished on July 2, 1776, after it had been revised significantly by many of the Continental Congress's members. John Adams actually predicted that July 2 would be the nation’s eventual holiday.

However, the Declaration of IndIndependence Day Todayependence was only approved, and therefore signed, on July 4, 1776. So John Adams’ prediction was off by two days! Indeed, the document itself marks July 4 as the date of its final signature.

Independence Day Today

In modern America, July 4 is the federally recognized date for Independence Day. It’s a federal holiday of national revelry, patriotic celebrations, and time off work for many people. It’s also an opportunity to connect with friends and family and to appreciate the freedom we have that so many other people around the world are still denied to this day.

In modern America, July 4 is the federally recognized date for Independence Day. It’s a federal holiday of national revelry, patriotic celebrations, and time off work for many people. It’s also an opportunity to connect with friends and family and to appreciate the freedom we have that so many other people around the world are still denied to this day.


Thank you for reading, stay strong patriots.   

Justin | Right Wing Gear
Maine, USA

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