Today Americans celebrate the 247th anniversary of the founding of the United States. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress, back then the governing body of the 13 North American colonial governments, approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence. By this action, the future 13 States declared to the world, their independence from the British Empire.
The decision to break ties with the British monarchy was years in the making, reflecting the increasing frustration of the colonists with how they were governed. They resented the British government’s long-term drive to impose ever-tighter control over them, as well as the imposition of exorbitant taxes as a means of discharging the huge debts of the English Crown.
The Declaration of Independence was the culmination of years of increasingly belligerent attempts on the part of the colonists, to shake off these strictures. The American Revolutionary War actually began over a year earlier, in April 1775. When it ended in 1782 with the colonists’ victory, the new country was finally free to chart its own course, develop its own manufacturing, export the produced goods and pursue trade abroad. The economy grew and by the beginning of the new century, the United States began to gain a reputation as a land of opportunity, where people could start anew, make their fortunes and be beholden to no one.
“America is always becoming, always on the move, always a work in progress. That’s the key word, a key idea, a keynote in the life of our nation: progress, forward motion, the creation of possibilities, the fulfillment of promises. That’s the American story,” said President Joe Biden.
“But each day, we’re reminded there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy, nothing guaranteed about our way of life. We have to fight for it, defend it, and earn it by voting to refine, evolve, and extend the calling of America to move forward boldly and unafraid,” he said.
“This day reminds us of what brought us together long ago, what binds us still, and at our best, what we strive for. It’s “We the people.” Not a hollow phrase in America. “We the people” doing all we can to ensure that the idea of America and the cause of freedom and justice and equality does more than survive the divisions of our time, but that it shines like the sun to light up the future of our world.”