Happy Independence Day, America! On July 4, 1776, the United States adopted the Declaration of Independence, separating the 13 North American royal colonies from the control of Great Britain and its king, George III. A lot led up to this declaration, beginning with the large debt accumulated by England during the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War in Europe), which ended in 1763. As a result of it’s debt from the war, England attempted to create increased revenue from the American colonies, leading to the colonies’ declaration of taxation without representation in 1765. In an attempt to control the colonies, George III and the British Parliament attempted to enforce several acts including the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, the Tea Act, and the Coercive Acts, all of which caused more upheaval concerning unlawful taxation throughout the colonies. Protests, such as the Boston Tea Party fueled the continued anger toward the British government. The colonies established a Continental Congress in 1774, which reconvened in 1775 because the British Parliament ignored their grievances. This led to a formal declaration of independence, which is proudly displayed in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in DC. This declaration sparked a 7 year war, ultimately severing the thin hold between the United States and Great Britain.
The photo above was taken in 1906 by an individual named F.A. Loumis. The little boy wears the popular sailor outfit seen on both girls and boys around 1905. His smile is ever so joyful as he clutches 3 firecrackers and an American flag.
Massachusetts Historical Society. The Coming of the American Revolution, 1764-1776. 4 July 2014. Web. 4 July 2014 http://www.masshist.org/revolution/congress2.php
National Archives and Records Administration. Charters of Freedom: The Declaration of Independence. 4 July 2014. Web. 4 July 2014 http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html