First Published: 13th of June, 2022.Last updated: June 13, 2022 at 0:36 am
On July 4 every year, the United States of America celebrate “Independence Day” to remember its hard-won freedom from the British Empire. Several Hollywood blockbuster movies such as “Born on the 4th of July” and “Independence Day” mirror the theme of the American Independence from Britain. But did you know that the actual date that the United States gained independence from Great Britain was September 3, 1783 and not July 4, 1776? That’s correct. So why July 4? I’ll explain.
While most British colonies were granted independence from the British empire easily or even willingly, the United States’ independence was won in a long, drawn out, and bloody conflict than spanned eight years. Known as the Revolutionary War or the American Revolution, America’s fight for independence from Britain began in 1775 and ended in 1783. In the United States’ Declaration of Independence, which was drafted on July 4, 1776, American politicians, then still subjects of the British Crown, gave a long list of reasons why they wished to overthrow their king.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.Extract from the US Declaration of Independence drafted on July 4, 1776
After that, the war dragged on for roughly 7 more years until the British caved in and signed a peace treaty with the Americans on September 3, 1783. In 1778, France officially joined the Revolutionary War and helped to cement a US victory.
If the British, at that time the world’s most powerful military, had won the war against the Americans and their allies, then that Declaration of Independence would have been scrapped. Americans declared themselves independent of Britain on July 4, 1776 in full confidence and unwavering determination that they would win the war. They did not win independence on that day, but on July 4, 1776, Americans voiced their resolve to dissolve ties with the British Empire and “assume their rightful place among the powers of the earth.” At that time, there were only 13 United States; today there are 50.