first British colony founded in America was Jamestown, Virginia,
in 1607. By 1770, the number of colonies had raised to 13 with
a population of more than 2 million people.
order to defend the colonies from foreign attacks, specially
the French, the British had to spend a lot of money. Thus, they
decided to impose some taxes on the colonies and this was the
beginning of all the problems between the colonists and the British.
The Stamp Act of 1765, taxed all legal documents and newspapers
with the purpose of increasing the British income and reducing
the amount of merchandise imported by the colonies. On December
16, 1773, an event which became known as The Boston Tea Party,
was a revolt of the colonists against the Tea Act, in which the
colonists in Indian disguises, entered the British ship anchored
in the Boston harbor and threw a whole shipping of tea into the
fear of any other rebellion that might occur, the British king
George III decided to send his troops to the colonies to help
prevent any kind of manifestation. Unsatisfied with England,
the colonists sent delegates to Philadelphia in 1774, in order
to form the First Continental Congress.
April 1775, as King George's troops advanced on Concord, Massachusetts,
Paul Revere (1735-1818), an American Revolutionary patriot, sounded
the alarm that the British were coming. The battle of Concord
would then mark the unofficial beginning of the war for the American
Independence, also known as the American Revolution (1775-1783).
In May 1775, delegates were sent again to Philadelphia for the
Second Continental Congress.
June 1776 Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who would later become
America's third president (1801-1809), headed a committee that
was formed to compose a formal Declaration of Independence. This
committee included John Adams (1735-1826) - second president
of the US (1797-1801), Benjamin Franklin (1707-1790) - American
statesman, author and scientist, Philip Livingston and Roger
Sherman. Thomas Jefferson was chosen to write the first draft
of the Declaration, that was presented to the Congress on June
the afternoon of July 4th, the colonies made their vote for the
Declaration. Of the 13 colonies, 9 voted in favor, Pennsylvania
and South Carolina voted against it, Delaware undecided and New
order to make it official, the President of the Continental Congress,
John Hancock, signed the Declaration and copies of the document
were distributed on the following day. The Pennsylvania Evening
Post was the first newspaper to print it, on July 6, 1776. On
July 8th Colonel John Nixon, made the first public reading of
the Declaration in Philadelphia's Independence Square, acclaimed
by the crowd and church bells which pealed over Philadelphia
announcing the birth of a new nation. The "Province Bell",
which had been used since March 10, 1753 as a way of summoning
people for special events, was also tolled, making this date
a very special event in the history of the Bell.
Bell was later renamed "Liberty Bell" after its inscription
from Leviticus 25:10:
Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof
did not accept the Declaration of Independence immediately and
battles and revolts intensified. Even loosing some battles and
after a lot of bloodshed, the Americans still withstood. In October,
1781, with the aid of French allies, the Americans won the Battle
of Yorktown, VA, and the British finally surrendered.
was finally achieved with the Treat of Versailles, in 1783, through
which Britain officially accepted the Independence of the United
States of America.
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signing of the Declaration was only completed in August, but
the 4th of July has been accepted as the official anniversary
of United States Independence. Although the 4th of July was only
declared a legal holiday in 1941, the first Independence Day
celebration happened on July 4, 1777. In the beginning of the
1800s, parades, picnics and fireworks shows became a traditional
way to celebrate America's birthday and this tradition remains
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