Independence Day of the United States

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Every July 4, the United States celebrates its national holiday, known as Independence Day. Americans commemorate that, on July 4, 1776, they made their independence from Great Britain official by signing the Declaration of Independence.

Independence Day in the United States is characterized by being celebrated with colorful parades, omnipresent American flags, sporting events and large fireworks displays. However, to understand its origin, one must go back to the 18th century.

Origin of the Independence day of the United States

At that time the British owned colonies on the east coast of what is now known as the United States of America. The so-called Thirteen Colonies shared values ​​and a very similar form of political organization, having a certain autonomy. However, British mercantilism caused strong disagreements between the colonists and Great Britain. And it is that, the colonies could only trade with Great Britain, while the British government was in charge of the administration of the colonial properties.

Mercantilism and taxes

Precisely the economic factors would be decisive at the time of the outbreak of hostilities between the colonists and Great Britain.

After winning the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the British had consolidated their commercial supremacy in America. The conflict had placed a terrible burden on the British coffers, so a series of taxes were imposed that caused deep unrest among the colonists.

These taxes were levied on products such as tea, stamps or coffee. Without a doubt, they were the last straw for the Thirteen Colonies. The settlers were very annoyed at having to pay taxes and not having any kind of political representation. These taxes were levied on products from Great Britain, which clearly favored the British East India Company.

The maximum expression of the discomfort caused by British commercialism and this type of taxation took place in 1773, with the Tea Mutiny, when in the city of Boston, the colonists threw a large load of British tea into the sea. The British response was immediate and soldiers were sent to suppress the uprisings, while the political autonomy of the Thirteen Colonies was reduced.

Meanwhile, a strong political division existed between the inhabitants of the colonies. The Loyalists were committed to staying loyal to Britain, while the Patriots firmly believed in dissociating themselves completely from the British.

Also in Great Britain there were two ways of understanding the conflict with the colonists, as many British believed in reconciliation with the colonies, while others argued that the use of force was necessary.

The war against the British and the Declaration of Independence

The tension did not take long to increase until it became unsustainable and led to the War of Independence of the United States (1775-1783). While the settlers fought in a territory they knew well, the British Army was one of the most powerful military machines in the world at the time.

On the political level, Richard Henry Lee led a motion for independence. So the settlers got down to business, and a committee led by Thomas Jefferson dealt with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. Among the principles that inspired this declaration were national sovereignty, equality among all men, and responsible government. Likewise, the declaration introduced a very important element, since it recognized fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of the press or the right to property.

Although independence was approved by vote on July 2, 1776, it was not until July 4, 1776 that the final document was printed. However, despite the Declaration of Independence, the war with Great Britain lasted until 1783. Eventually, victory in the war would fall to the hands of the United States, which had strong support from France and Spain.

Such is the importance of July 4 that the Declaration of Independence is considered the key event in the birth of the American nation and, therefore, it is commemorated every year with great celebrations.

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