Difference between revisions of "Fourth of July"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(added year counter of independence)
(add history)
Line 6: Line 6:
  
 
The [[American flag|Flag]] and symbols of it are in evidence everywhere, in this annual outpouring of [[patriotism]]. An expression of pride and hope can be found in many patriotic songs such as the national anthem The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, My Country 'Tis of Thee and The Stars and Stripes Forever. <ref>[http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/patriotic/patriotic-home.html Patriotic Melodies] The Library of Congress</ref>
 
The [[American flag|Flag]] and symbols of it are in evidence everywhere, in this annual outpouring of [[patriotism]]. An expression of pride and hope can be found in many patriotic songs such as the national anthem The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, My Country 'Tis of Thee and The Stars and Stripes Forever. <ref>[http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/patriotic/patriotic-home.html Patriotic Melodies] The Library of Congress</ref>
 +
 +
==Historic patterns==
 +
Early celebrations of the Fourth of July began in 1777.
 +
 +
The holiday encouraged national identity and unity with orations, dinners, militia musters, parades, and fireworks.
 +
 +
By 1800, embittered party politics in the [[First Party System]]  made the celebrations Federalist occasions in Federalist Party strongholds like Boston. The Jeffersonian Republicans, believing the Federalists had misappropriated and misinterpreted the American Revolution and neglected the role of [[Thomas Jefferson]], staged their own, more democratic, celebrations. Disorder sometimes marred the festivities, but the public enjoyed both parties' observances. The War of 1812 saw the substitution of solemn observances for the noisy partisan celebrations; after the war, festive celebrations, no longer partisan or boisterous, resumed.
 +
 +
Especially in small cities and towns the holiday combined patriotism, commercialism, and entertainment in an attempt to reaffirm common values and reinforce community solidarity. The festivities' main ingredients, often covering several days before 1940, were civic and patriotic oratory, parades, sports and games, carnivals, dances, fireworks, music, and food.
 +
 +
The Fourth has a military dimension and stresses masculinity. For example, in the Antebellum South Fourth of July festivities were opened to the public and exemplified [[Republicanism|republican]] and egalitarian principles, but they increasingly celebrated a militarized, masculine ideal of citizenship and accorded women few roles other than as spectators.
 +
 +
The Fourth celebrates prowess—fiorst national strength and in recent decases individual strength. The Peachtree Road Race was begun in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1970 and is held each year on the Fourth of July. The first ten-kilometer race attracted a mere 110 runners; by 1994, the number of participants had grown to some fifty thousand.
 +
 +
During the 1960s and 1970s, some cities with large antiwar elements, such as Denver, saw parades and picnics replaced by demonstrations and rioting ridiculing patriotism and denouncing the Vietnam War. Those protests were gone by 1975.
 +
 +
The Fourth is an affirmation of Americanism for Americans in remote locations (such as the Overland Trail in the 1850s) and for Americans overseas. They hold special celebrations at embassies and consulates, as well as private parties wherever expatriates gather.
 +
===Blacks===
 +
Before the Civil War free blacks found fault with the Declaration of Independence for inconsistency and the closely related grounds of hypocrisy and ineffectuality. They held negative attitudes toward Thomas Jefferson and dismissed the Fourth of July because it did not include freedom for blacks. Black leaders and white abolitionists fought to insure that the Declaration would remain an inescapable commitment.<ref> Benjamin Quarles, "Antebellum Free Blacks and the 'Spirit Of '76.'" ''Journal of Negro History'' 1976 61(3): 229-242. </ref>
 +
 +
The Fourth is a celebration of freedom. African American celebration of the Fourth of July in southern cities such as Memphis, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War featured a major parade with all the local black organizations marching or making floats, followed by picnics and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. At the same time, Fourth of July celebrations by the white community in Memphis tended to be much more subdued. 
  
  
Line 25: Line 46:
 
* [[Founding Fathers]]
 
* [[Founding Fathers]]
 
* [[American Revolution]]
 
* [[American Revolution]]
 
+
==Further reading==
 +
* Quarles, Benjamin. "Antebellum Free Blacks and the 'Spirit of '76'" ''Journal of Negro History'', Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jul., 1976), pp. 229-242 [http://www.jstor.org/stable/2717251 in JSTOR]
 +
* Travers, Len. ''Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic.'' (1997). 304 pp.
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
<references/>
 
<references/>

Revision as of 19:25, 2 July 2009

The Spirit of '76

The Fourth of July is the most important national holiday and annual celebration of the Independence of the United States. It started with "Taxation without representation!" and on July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress formally signed the Declaration of Independence and America's 13 colonies broke away from the Kingdom of Great Britain as an independent nation. The very first celebration was held in the nation's capital, then Philadelphia. Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870, [1] and as a legal holiday in 1941. This is year number 243 of our Independence.

Most American businesses are closed and the citizens enjoy the summer holiday with cookouts, get-togethers, concerts, baseball, picnics, barbecues, bon fires, parades, and at night time enjoy displays of fireworks. Some people hold re-enactments of Revolutionary War era and some people give political speeches at events across the nations cities and towns.

The Flag and symbols of it are in evidence everywhere, in this annual outpouring of patriotism. An expression of pride and hope can be found in many patriotic songs such as the national anthem The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, My Country 'Tis of Thee and The Stars and Stripes Forever. [2]

Historic patterns

Early celebrations of the Fourth of July began in 1777.

The holiday encouraged national identity and unity with orations, dinners, militia musters, parades, and fireworks.

By 1800, embittered party politics in the First Party System made the celebrations Federalist occasions in Federalist Party strongholds like Boston. The Jeffersonian Republicans, believing the Federalists had misappropriated and misinterpreted the American Revolution and neglected the role of Thomas Jefferson, staged their own, more democratic, celebrations. Disorder sometimes marred the festivities, but the public enjoyed both parties' observances. The War of 1812 saw the substitution of solemn observances for the noisy partisan celebrations; after the war, festive celebrations, no longer partisan or boisterous, resumed.

Especially in small cities and towns the holiday combined patriotism, commercialism, and entertainment in an attempt to reaffirm common values and reinforce community solidarity. The festivities' main ingredients, often covering several days before 1940, were civic and patriotic oratory, parades, sports and games, carnivals, dances, fireworks, music, and food.

The Fourth has a military dimension and stresses masculinity. For example, in the Antebellum South Fourth of July festivities were opened to the public and exemplified republican and egalitarian principles, but they increasingly celebrated a militarized, masculine ideal of citizenship and accorded women few roles other than as spectators.

The Fourth celebrates prowess—fiorst national strength and in recent decases individual strength. The Peachtree Road Race was begun in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1970 and is held each year on the Fourth of July. The first ten-kilometer race attracted a mere 110 runners; by 1994, the number of participants had grown to some fifty thousand.

During the 1960s and 1970s, some cities with large antiwar elements, such as Denver, saw parades and picnics replaced by demonstrations and rioting ridiculing patriotism and denouncing the Vietnam War. Those protests were gone by 1975.

The Fourth is an affirmation of Americanism for Americans in remote locations (such as the Overland Trail in the 1850s) and for Americans overseas. They hold special celebrations at embassies and consulates, as well as private parties wherever expatriates gather.

Blacks

Before the Civil War free blacks found fault with the Declaration of Independence for inconsistency and the closely related grounds of hypocrisy and ineffectuality. They held negative attitudes toward Thomas Jefferson and dismissed the Fourth of July because it did not include freedom for blacks. Black leaders and white abolitionists fought to insure that the Declaration would remain an inescapable commitment.[3]

The Fourth is a celebration of freedom. African American celebration of the Fourth of July in southern cities such as Memphis, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War featured a major parade with all the local black organizations marching or making floats, followed by picnics and a reading of the Declaration of Independence. At the same time, Fourth of July celebrations by the white community in Memphis tended to be much more subdued.


Patriot letters

John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail on July 3rd, it reads [4]


The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.

In a letter written on June 24, 1826, Thomas Jefferson says,


May it be to the world, what I believe it will be ... the signal of arousing men to burst the chains ... and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. ... For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.

In a quote from John F. Kennedy,


We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
The Spirit of '76

See Also

Further reading

  • Quarles, Benjamin. "Antebellum Free Blacks and the 'Spirit of '76'" Journal of Negro History, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Jul., 1976), pp. 229-242 in JSTOR
  • Travers, Len. Celebrating the Fourth: Independence Day and the Rites of Nationalism in the Early Republic. (1997). 304 pp.

References

  1. History of the Fourth PBS.org
  2. Patriotic Melodies The Library of Congress
  3. Benjamin Quarles, "Antebellum Free Blacks and the 'Spirit Of '76.'" Journal of Negro History 1976 61(3): 229-242.
  4. July 4th History Kidz101.com