“Taxation without representation!” was the battle cry in America’s 13 Colonies, which were required to salary taxes to England’s King George III despite having no depiction in the brother Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, brothers troops were sent out in to quell the at an early stage movement toward rebellion. Recurring attempts by the homesteaders to solve the crisis without military conflict proved fruitless.

You are watching: History started on july 4 1776

On June 11, 1776, the Colonies’ 2nd Continental conference met in Philadelphia and formed a committee whose express objective was drafting a paper that would formally sever their ties with good Britain. The committee contained Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, man Adams, roger Sherman and also Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and also most eloquent writer, make the initial draft file (as seen above). A full of 86 transforms were made to his draft and the continent Congress officially adopted the last version top top July 4, 1776.

The following day, duplicates of the declaration of freedom were distributed, and on July 6,The Pennsylvania evening Postbecame the very first newspaper to print the extraordinary document. The declaration of self-reliance has since become ours nation’s many cherished symbol of liberty.


Bonfires and also Illuminations

On July 8, 1776, the an initial public readings of the statements were organized in Philadelphia’s self-reliance Square to the ringing the bells and also band music. One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence job by adjourning Congress and celebrating through bonfires, bells and also fireworks.

The custom eventually spread to other towns, both huge and small, where the job was marked with processions, oratory, picnics, contests, games, armed forces displays and fireworks. Observations throughout the nation became even an ext common at the end of the war of 1812 with good Britain.

In June that 1826, cutting board Jefferson sent out a letter to i get it C. Weightman, declining an invitation to involved Washington, D.C. To help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the statements of Independence. It to be the last letter that Jefferson, that was gravely ill, ever wrote. In it, Jefferson claims of the document:


“May it it is in to the world, what I think it will be … the signal that arousing males to to explode the chains … and also to assume the blessings and security the self-government. The form, i m sorry we have substituted, restores the cost-free right come the boundless exercise that reason and freedom of opinion. Every eyes space opened, or opening, come the rights of man. …For ourselves, allow the yearly return of today forever refresh our recollections of this rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”

– cutting board JeffersonJune 24, 1826 Monticello


Congress created Independence Day together a vacation in 1870, and also in 1938 conference reaffirmed it together a paid holiday for commonwealth employees. Today, communities across the country mark this significant midsummer holiday through parades, firework displays, picnics and performances that “The Star-Spangled Banner” and also marches by man Philip Sousa.

Photo of the “original turbulent draught” of the declaration of freedom courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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