The history of the United States is substantial and also complicated, but can be broken down right into moments and also time periods that divided, merged, and also changed the United States right into the nation it is today. The American flag did not resemble like it does now. Other than that, it undertook a great deal of adjustments and also modifications.
The American Revolutionary War
Enter the American Revolution. Sometimes described as the American War of Independence, or the Revolutionary War, it was a conflict which lasted from 1775-1783 and also enabled the original 13 colonies to stay independent from Great Britain. Beginning in Great Britain in the late 1790s, the Industrial Revolution at some point made its way to the United States and also changed the emphasis of the nation’s economic climate and the method it manufactures items.
For more than 10 years before the outbreak of the revolution in 1775, tensions had actually been developing in between colonists and also the British authorities. These tensions occurred from growing tensions between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies as well as the colonial government (which stood for the British crown). Attempts by the British government to raise revenue by taxing the colonies (especially the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 and also the Tea Act of 1773) consulted with negative protest amongst several colonists, that disliked their lack of representation in Parliament and required the exact same civil liberties as various other British citizens. Colonial resistance resulted in physical violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of colonists, killing five people in exactly what was known as the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships then discarded 342 chests of tea right into Boston Harbor, an annoyed Parliament passed a collection of measures (called the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) made to reassert imperial authority in Massachusetts.
The Continental Congress met in May 1775 and also accepted to make an army. George Washington was made its commander in chief. Congress wished they could force the British to bargain but George III refused to negotiate. Instead, in August 1775 he declared that the American colonies remained in a state of disobedience. At the same time, rule by royal governor broke down as well as the people demanded government without imperial interference. In May 1776 Congress determined that imperial government needs to cease and also government ought to be ‘under the authority of individuals’. Subsequently the colonies drew up state constitutions to replace their charters.
By June 1776, with the Revolutionary War in progress, a growing bulk of the colonists had come to favor freedom from Britain. That exact same year Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia Assembly presented Congress with resolutions declaring the freedom of the colonies, requiring a confederation and also expressed the have to find international allies for a battle against Britain. On July 4th, the Continental Congress elected to adopt the Declaration of Independence, composed by a five-man committee including Franklin as well as John Adams however composed primarily by Jefferson. By the fall of 1781, the American army had actually managed to compel the opponent to withdraw to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River clears right into Chesapeake Bay. Backed up by a French military led by General Jean Baptiste de Rochambeau, Washington moved against Yorktown with a total of around 14,000 soldiers, while a fleet of 36 French warships offshore avoided British support or escape. Trapped and subdued, the opponent was compelled to surrender their entire army. Stating health problems, the British general sent his replacement, Charles O’Hara, to give up; after O’Hara came close to Rochambeau to surrender his sword (the Frenchman deferred to Washington), Washington gave the nod to his own replacement, Benjamin Lincoln, that approved it. After French assistance aided the Continental Army require the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had actually efficiently won their independence, though fighting would certainly not officially finish til 1783.
Though the movement for American freedom properly won at Yorktown, contemporary historians did not see that as the crucial triumph yet. British armies stayed stationed around Charleston, and also the powerful main military still stayed in New York. The British removal of their troops from Charleston and also Savannah in late 1782 ultimately indicated the end of the conflict. British and American arbitrators in Paris signed preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and also on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally identified the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, Britain authorized separate peace treaties with France and also Spain (which had actually entered the dispute in 1779), bringing the American Revolution to a close after eight lengthy years.
Exactly how the American Flag came to be
The American flag was made to stand for the brand-new union of the thirteen original states: it would certainly have thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, and also thirteen stars, white on a blue field. Among the first flags had the stars arranged in a circle, based on the suggestion that colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, resting side by side, represented the battle for independence; red stood for valiance, white signified purity and also blue stood for commitment.
In 1818, after a couple of style modifications, the United States Congress chose to retain the flag’s original thirteen stripes and include new stars to show each brand-new state that got in the union.
While there is no doubt that the real Betsy Ross deserved interest in her own right, it is the tale of Betsy sewing the first stars and stripes that has made her an extraordinary historical number. The Betsy Ross story was brought to public attention in 1870 by her grandson, William Canby, in a speech he made to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Canby and also various other participants of Betsy’s family authorized sworn testimonies mentioning that they heard the tale of the production of the very first flag from Betsy’s very own mouth.
Based on the oral history, in 1776, three men – George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, visited Betsy Ross in her upholstery store. She escorted them to her parlor, where they can have a private meeting. Right here, Washington took a folded piece of paper from his inside jacket pocket. On it, was an illustration of a flag with thirteen red and also white stripes as well as thirteen six-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy can make a flag from the layout. Betsy responded: “I do not know, yet I will attempt.” This line was utilized in the sworn declarations of many of Betsy’s household participants, recommending that it is a straight quote from Betsy. As the tale goes, Betsy suggested altering the stars to five points rather than six.
Some chroniclers believe that it was Francis Hopkisnon who gave birth to the suggestion of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a prominent patriot, an attorney, a Congressman from New Jersey, an endorser of the Declaration of Independence, poet, artist, as well as identified civil servant.
He was appointed to the Continental Navy Board on November 6,1776. It was while working on the Continental Navy Board that he turned his focus on developing the flag of the United States. The use of stars in that style is believed to have actually been the result of an experience in the war directly related to his propriety.
A publication in Hopkinson’s library at his house in Bordentown was taken by a Hessian soldier in December 1776, a dark year of the war. The soldier, an I. Ewald, composed on the inside cover that he had seen the writer near Philadelphia and also that he, Ewald, had taken the publication from a fine country seat near Philadelphia. The soldier had actually written over and also listed below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had 3 6 pointed stars and also his family slogan, “Semper Paratus”, or “Always Ready”.
In a letter to the Board of Admiralty in 1780 Hopkinson asserted that he had actually developed “the flag of the United States of America” in addition to numerous ornaments, devices, and checks showing up on bills of exchange, ship documents, the seals of the boards of Admiralty and also Treasury, and the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had received absolutely nothing for this job, and also currently he sent a bill and also asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would certainly not be an affordable and also appropriate reward for his labors.
Nevertheless, no one can be so sure that produced the American flag. The American flag is the sacred emblem of the country. It represents the citizens’ birthright, their heritage of liberty acquired with blood and also sorrow. The title deed of freedom, which is the nation’s to take pleasure in as well as keep in trust for posterity. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. As you see the flag silhouetted in front of the calm skies of the nation, you are reminded that the American flag represents what you are – no more, no less.
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As quoted from the Star Spangled Banner:
O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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