Happy Independence Day (USA)!
On July 2d, 1776, the representatives to the Continental Congress voted to secede from Great Britain and become a nation of independent States.
The Colonies had been involved in military action against the armies of the Crown since April 1775.
“Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.”
Initially, the Colonies demanded only that they be granted the same rights as other citizens of the British Empire, including representation in Parliament.
As time went on, however, and in no small part thanks to Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense, published in January 1776, the colonists came to agree that the only way to address their problems was to separate from Britain once and for all and form their own government.
The Second Continental Congress declared their intention and on July 4, 1776, the representatives signed ‘the unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.’
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
Although the War of Independence did not formally end until September 1783, and a formal government not formed until many years later, the Americans had begun a worldwide movement away from hereditary monarchy and toward a government by the consent of the people.