July 4th 1776 Quick Facts
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Weird how people don’t seem to grasp that there were 115 years between the time Columbus landed and the first British colony, of Jamestown, Virginia. There were colonies from all over the world at the time. The 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas had divided the New World between the Kingdoms of Spain and Portugal. Their were colonies from the Netherlands, South America, China, Scotland, France. From 1643 to 1645, the Dutch fought a war with American Indians and the French did the same, from 1756 to 1763.
In 1763, ending the Seven Year’s War, France ceded all mainland North American territories, except New Orleans, in order to retain her Caribbean sugar islands. Britain gained all territory east of the Mississippi River; Spain kept territory west of the Mississippi, but exchanged East and West Florida for Cuba. The British kept pushing taxes higher and taking control, forcing the colonies to pay for their garrisons. The first African people arrived in 1619.
In 1768, the British sent 4000 troops to Boston, in response to political unrest. They remained for seven years, living among the citizens. Many were rude and only wanted to drink and visit prostitutes. The British also had a problem with desertion though, almost immediately losing seventy men. There were even sentries set up, at the edge of the city, to capture their own men. On the Boson Commons. the troops were punished by being whipped and executed for desertion.
Then the Boston Massacre of 1770 occurred. Angered by the presence of troops and Britain’s colonial policy, a crowd began harassing a group of soldiers guarding the customs house; a soldier was knocked down by a snowball and discharged his musket, sparking a volley into the crowd which killed five civilians. Then the Boston Tea Party of 1773. 1774, Britain passes the Intolerable Acts, which stripped Massachusetts of self-government and judicial independence. The colonies then boycotted British products and Colonial delegates meet to organize opposition to the Intolerable Acts.
People don’t realize we had several Presidents before George Washington, from the first meeting of the Continental Congress, in 1774. Each one served a year long term. April 1775, Battles of Lexington and Concord, first engagements of the Revolutionary War between British troops and the Minutemen, who had been warned of the attack by Paul Revere.
June 1775, Continental Congress appoints George Washington head of the Continental Army. July 1776, fifty six men signed The Declaration of Independence. Their names are not released for six months, for fear of treason and hanging.
The American Revolution waged from April 19th, 1775 to Sept. 3rd, 1883. The US Constitution was created four years later, September 17, 1787, and ratified June 21, 1788. George Washington became the first President of the United States of America, April 30, 1789, thirteen years after the signing of The Declaration of Independence.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, 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; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
Declaration of Independence