The History of the 4th of July
In 1776, on July 4, thirteen colonies first claimed independence from England. This historical event led to the formation of the United States of America. These days, Americans celebrate the 4th of July each year. This is now known as Independence Day. In the summer of 1776, when colonies convened at the Philadelphia Continental Congress, the conflict between England and colonies was already a year old.
In Pennsylvania State House on June 7, Richard Henry Lee from Virginia presented a resolution that stated: “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”
These words were the motivation for drafting the Declaration of Independence, although it was not followed upon immediately. The resolution consideration was postponed by a vote of seven against 5 colonies with New York abstaining. Although a Committee of Five was given permission to write a statement draft which was going to present to the world the colonies Independence case. Committee members included Connecticut’s Roger Sherman, Massachusetts John Adams, Pennsylvania’s Benjamin Franklin, New York’s Robert R Livingston, and Virginia’s Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had the task of the drafting the final document.
In 1776 on the 1st of July, the Continental Congress reconvened with the Independence resolution being adopted by twelve or the thirteen colonies with New York not voting. The Declaration of Independence discussions ended with a few minor chances but the document spirit was unchanged. The revision process counted right through July 3 to July 4 before it was adopted officially. Out of the whole thirteen colonies, there were 2 that voted against. The Declaration of Independence was signed by John Hancock.
The original copy of the Declaration of Independence is now housed in the Washington DC National Archives. July 4 is now a national holiday which remembers the time when the USA became a free and independent nation.