On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia that formalizes the separation of the United States of America with Britain. A date that the inhabitants of the new continent have kept to celebrate their national holiday. It will have taken some way for the Europeans to go to this day, which is now called ” Independence Day ” on the other side of the Atlantic . We will return here to the origin of the foundation of the USA and the place granted to this national holiday of July 4th today. An American holiday that resonates for us Europeans since the continent was our new Eldorado 18th century. And more specifically for us French since the American Constitution was inspired by our philosophers of enlightenment.
Discovery of America and European explorations
The year 1492 and the discovery of the American continent by Christopher Columbus mark the opening of the period of great discoveries. From the end of the 15 the century until the French Revolution Europeans will gradually colonize the land of America and write their history. It seems that long before Columbus, the first Europeans to set foot on the American continent, around the year 1000, were the Vikings with a leader named Leif Ericsson at their head. Then, early in the 16 the century, the emigration of Europeans to the New World will continue. John Cabot and Jacques Cartier are the two French who will put one foot on the new continent to 16 the century.
But the French are not the only ones. The Spanish, the British, the Dutch and the Swedes are going to settle in America from 16 the to 17 the century. Thousands of Europeans will take the road to the new world, abandoning a Europe that is struggling to feed its children and is going through a period of religious persecution. In 100 years, the Europeans will have gradually settled on this territory initially populated by Amerindian local populations to the North as to the South.
On the road to independence and the signature of July 4, 1776
The English from the 17th century will be imposed on the new continent by their naval power and based on the coast of the coast is a territory of 13 settlements. These territories are developing, but the conflicts between England and its representatives on the spot and the other nations, including France, will lead the continent towards the Seven Years’ War.
At the end of the Seven Years’ War, England emerges weakened and in debt from the conflict considered as a kind of First World War before the time. It will put in place a tax system that heavily taxes the 13 American colonies among others. The colonists will not accept it very long and decide not to comply with the request of the English crown. It is the beginning of the civil war in America which will lead to the declaration of independence of the USA (of the 13 states at this precise moment), signed on July 4, 1776.
This declaration of 4 July is then signed by 56 delegates and concretizes the secession of the United States with Great Britain. The United States of America is born.
In July 1776, the thirteen delegates representing the British colonies decided to draft the Declaration of Independence. A drafting committee is appointed, consisting of John Adams, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson will assume the role of chief editor of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America. The final document is signed on July 4, 1776 by the 56 delegates meeting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
Once the declaration is signed, the new country goes to war against England. Some of the French nobles, lulled by the Philosophy of Enlightenment, take a stand for the insurgents of the new continent. This is the case of the Marquis de Lafayette who, against the authority of the king, takes a seat aboard a frigate, the Hermione in 1780. He goes to lend a hand to the insurgents who at first will have to retreat before the English military power. But the noble liberals in Europe will decide to support the new people of America and return the situation to their side. France, then decided to engage behind the insurgents and from 1777, the people of America will chain victories towards independence and freedom read about them on http://independenceusa.net/.
How are we celebrating July 4th in the United States?
Did you know? Although the date of July 4 is the original symbol of American independence achieved in the 18 the century, the celebrations of the American National Day were institutionalized in 1941. As in all other countries, the American National Day represents a day to share in the lives of Americans. The latter are fervent patriots, always inclined to proudly display their 50-star flag paraded in cities and invariably end their national holiday with fireworks.