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Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July? History and significance explained

The Fourth of July is celebrated all across the USA as the country's Independence Day (Image via Reuters)
The Fourth of July is celebrated all across the USA as the country's Independence Day (Image via Reuters)

The Fourth of July is one of the most important federal holidays in the United States of America, and holds a special place in the heart of every American. The Fourth of July marks the annual celebration of the founding of the United States, or more specifically, the American Independence day.

On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress in the US adopted the Declaration of Independence, to announce the separation of the colonies from the British Rule.

The Declaration states:

โ€œWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.โ€

Events that led to the Fourth of July 1776

Before 1776, the American colonies had been protesting against British rule for years. The British Empire made its first permanent American colony at Virginiaโ€™s Jamestown in 1607.

By 1775, there were an estimated 2.5 million settlers living in the 13 colonies. All 13 colonies were subjected to British law and had to pay high duties for the import of goods like coffee, sugar, tea and spirits.

The crown was in debt after the Indian and French War, therefore it started to tax the colonists more to increase revenues. They passed several legislations like the Stamp Act of March 1765, the Townshend Acts of June and July 1767 and the Tea Act of 1773. All of these created an increasing dissatisfaction with the imperialists and the slogan '"No Taxation Without Representation" began gaining momentum.

The hostilities between the colonies and the British intensified with events such as the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Lexington and Concord. In turn, it gave birth to the American Revolutionary War.


What happened on Fourth of July, 1776?

The Declaration of Independence was adopted on 4th of July, 1776 (image via Getty Images/Graphicaartis)
The Declaration of Independence was adopted on 4th of July, 1776 (image via Getty Images/Graphicaartis)

In June 1776, the Continental Congress meeting was held in Philadelphia. At the meeting, Virginia statesman Richard Henry Lee proposed a motion for the colonies to declare independence from Britain. A committee was formed to draft the official independence document, known as the Declaration of Independence.

On 4th July, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and it declared that America was a free nation.

The document was signed by the founding father of the nation, Thomas Jefferson. It was also signed by his fellow committee members John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston.

A 13-gunshots salute and a mega fireworks event were conducted, which still happens, to mark the historical event. After the declaration of independence, American colonists continued to fight the Revolutionary war. They won against the war against the British in September 1783.


How is the fourth of July celebrated today?

Americans are known to be some of the most patriotic people in the world, and it goes without saying that the Fourth of July matters a lot to them.

Americans celebrate their Independence Day by wearing clothes and painting themselves in the red, white and blue colors of the American flag. Fireworks displays, barbecues, baseball and American football are synonymous to this day. States also hold parades and concerts in their cities, while the American staple food like burgers, fried chicken, hotdogs and cookies, are sold on carts.

Have a great Fourth of July America peace and love be safe. ๐Ÿ˜ŽโœŒ๏ธ๐ŸŒŸโค๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿฅฆ. โ˜ฎ๏ธ https://t.co/12BuSBOUgl
Fourth of July weekend reminder: America is still good, and still worth fighting for.
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At noon, the 'Salute to the Union' takes place, wherein a salute of one gun for each state in the United States is fired.

This year, as the fourth of July falls on a Monday, most American families will take advantage of the long weekend to go on mini-trips to celebrate the day.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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