This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Why July 4th, 1776 isn't really Independence Day for the United States of America

Like the vast majority of people living in Continental America in the 1700s, my family didn't like the way the British ran their government. They didn't believe in the divine right of Kings, the aristocracy of England, the feudal system that kept people permanently *in their place* and they certainly didn't like being taxed on tea without having any representation in Parliament. America was going to be a land of opportunity, not a place where fat cats sat in castles on the hills while the serfs did all the work for them.

So, on July 4th, 1776 a message was sent to the King of England, and to the world, that the colonies of America were united in declaring their independence. Of course, the British weren't happy with this, and it wasn't until 1783 that the war was considered won by George Washington's army. And many people would argue that it wasn't until after 1812 that it was really won, as the English, still sore, sent ships over to toss bombs at at the American flag in Baltimore. Or, if you prefer, the star-spangled banner, the bombs bursting in air.

Real history is wildly complex. And Americans felt the need to celebrate their independence from England, and they needed a date. They must have thought that 1776 had a nice ring to it. So the other dates were forgotten. And after all of this time, it just seems like trivia.

But my family was there. And July 4th, 1776 wasn't the end, it was the beginning. It must have been a scary time for everyone, as Benjamin Franklin said, *if we don't hang together, we will surely hang separately*. Join, or die.
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