The background of the United States is vast as well as intricate, but can be broken down right into moments as well as periods that separated, merged, as well as altered the United States into the nation it is today. The American flag really did not look like it does now. Other than that, it underwent a great deal of changes and also alterations.
The American Revolutionary War
Enter the American Revolution. Often referred to as the American War of Independence, or the Revolutionary War, it was a conflict which lasted from 1775-1783 as well as permitted the original 13 colonies to remain independent from Great Britain. Starting in Great Britain in the late 1790s, the Industrial Revolution eventually made its way to the United States as well as changed the emphasis of the nation’s economic situation and also the way it makes products.
For greater than 10 years before the break out of the revolution in 1775, tensions had actually been building in between colonists as well as the British authorities. These stress occurred from expanding stress in between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and the colonial government (which stood for the British crown). Attempts by the British government to increase revenue by collecting tax from the colonies (significantly the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 and also the Tea Act of 1773) met with negative objection among several colonists, that disliked their lack of depiction in Parliament and required the exact same rights as other British people. Colonial resistance brought about physical violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a mob of colonists, killing five people in just what was called the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians impersonated Mohawk Indians boarded British ships and discarded 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, a furious Parliament passed a series of actions (known as the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) designed to reassert royal authority in Massachusetts.
George Washington was made its commander in chief. Congress hoped they might require the British to negotiate however George III refused to negotiate. Rather, in August 1775 he declared that all the American colonies were in a state of rebellion.
By the fall of 1781, the American forces had managed to force the enemy to retreat to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River clears into Chesapeake Bay. Stating health problems, the British general sent his deputy, Charles O’Hara, to give up; after O’Hara came close to Rochambeau to surrender his sword (the Frenchman deferred to Washington), Washington offered the nod to his own deputy, Benjamin Lincoln, that accepted it. After French aid assisted the Continental Army compel the British abandonment at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had efficiently won their self-reliance, though combatting would certainly not formally finish up until 1783.
The motion for American freedom successfully won at Yorktown, modern observers did not see that as the crucial success. British and also American negotiators in Paris signed initial peace terms in Paris late that November, as well as on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally identified the freedom of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
How the American Flag came to be
The American flag was developed to stand for the brand-new union of the thirteen original states: it would have thirteen stripes, alternating red as well as white, as well as thirteen stars, white on a blue field. Among the initial flags had the stars arranged in a circle, based upon the idea that colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, laid out side-by-side, stood for the struggle for freedom; red represented valor, white signified pureness as well as blue represented commitment.
In 1818, after a couple of layout adjustments, the United States Congress chose to retain the flag’s original thirteen stripes and also include brand-new stars to show each new state that got in the union.
While there is no question that the real Betsy Ross was worthy of interest in her own right, it is the tale of Betsy stitching the initial stars and stripes that has made her an unforgettable historical figure. 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 members authorized vouched testimonies stating that they heard the tale of the production of the very first flag from Betsy’s very own mouth.
According to the oral history, in 1776, three men – George Washington, Robert Morris, and also George Ross, checked out Betsy Ross in her furniture store. On a piece of paper Washington revealed, was a drawing of a flag with thirteen red and also white stripes and also thirteen 6-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy can make a flag from the layout. Betsy responded: “I don’t know, yet I will certainly try.” This line was used in the vouched statements of many of Betsy’s household participants, recommending that it is a direct quote from Betsy. As the tale goes, Betsy recommended altering the stars to five points rather than 6.
Some historians think that it was Francis Hopkisnon who gave birth to the idea of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a preferred patriot, an attorney, a Congressman from New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, poet, musician, and also identified civil servant.
He was selected to the Continental Navy Board on November 6,1776. It was while serving on the Continental Navy Board that he transformed his focus on making the flag of the United States. Making use of stars because style is thought to have been the result of an experience in the war straightly related to his propriety.
A book in Hopkinson’s collection at his home in Bordentown was taken by a Hessian soldier in December 1776, a dark year of the war. The book, Discourses on Public Occasions in America (London, 1762) by William Smith, D.D., had been a gift to him by the author. The soldier, an I. Ewald, wrote on the within cover that he had actually seen the author near Philadelphia and that he, Ewald, had actually taken the book from a fine country seat near Philadelphia. The book was consequently offered to someone in Philadelphia that returned it to Hopkinson. The soldier had created above as well as below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had three 6 pointed stars and his household adage, “Semper Paratus”, or “Always Ready”. The secure return of the book might well have actually signified to Hopkinson the rebirth of the Americans’ hope.
In a letter to the Board of Admiralty in 1780 Hopkinson asserted that he had actually made “the flag of the United States of America” in addition to a number of ornaments, devices, and checks appearing on bills of exchange, ship papers, the seals of the boards of Admiralty and Treasury, and the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had received nothing for this job, as well as now he submitted a bill and asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would not be a sensible as well as appropriate reward for his labors.
Nevertheless, nobody can be so certain who produced the American flag. The American flag is the spiritual emblem of the country. It signifies the citizens’ birthright, their heritage of liberty purchased with blood as well as sorrow. The title deed of liberty, which is the nation’s to delight in and also hold in trust for posterity. Timeless alertness is the rate of freedom. 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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