Check out this declaration of independence essay to learn more about how Independence Day celebrates nationhood.
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Independence had been achieved after the Congress voted on July 2nd, but the Declaration was not actually formalized until two days later. King George’s Birthday celebrations were the inspiration for the celebration.
When talking about our nation’s founding fathers, it’s important to remember that their image has changed over time. For example, back in the 18th century taverns and banquets often included toast speeches toasting the king and other patriot-heroes. This was formalized into politics in mid-18th century when newspapers began reprinting these speeches.
Countless colonists celebrated the several tax rebellions which took place in 1760s and early ’70s. These celebrations served to laud the King as well as to warn against further taxation. Many towns marked the first days of independence in America by reliving the British defeat of 1776 on the fields where they fought. These “funerals” honored the consequential battle but criticized their oppressive monarchs and contrasted their justifiable deaths with their cruel, tyrannical, and near-fatal treatment of colonists.
In the early years of the republic, Independence Day was celebrated widely in America. There was parades and toasting, oration, and much more to celebrate this historic day.
By the mid-1790s, political parties were beginning to form due to the American Revolution. This gave rise to Independence Day celebrations for both parties. They were originally a separate entity and offered local festivals. During his presidency, several other celebrations with explicit political meanings emerged, including Washington’s birthday, Jefferson’s inauguration anniversary, and others.
The fourth of July became a major holiday due to the growth of the leisure industry. The late 19th and early 20th century saw a decline in interest for the July movement that existed mainly due to the increase in politics put on the holiday by society. Independence Day is still an important American symbol, even though it declined significantly in popularity and importance.
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