The history of the United States is vast as well as complex, however can be broken down into moments as well as time periods that separated, merged, and also changed the United States right into the country it is now. The American flag didn’t look like it does currently. Besides that, it went through a lot of changes and also modifications.
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 and enabled the original 13 colonies to continue to be independent from Great Britain. Starting in Great Britain in the late 1790s, the Industrial Revolution eventually made its path to the United States as well as changed the focus of the nation’s economy and the way it produces items.
For more than a decade before the break out of the revolution in 1775, tensions had actually been developing in between colonists as well as the British authorities. These stress occurred from growing tensions between locals of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and also the colonial government (which represented the British crown). Efforts by the British government to elevate revenue by taxing the colonies (especially the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 and the Tea Act of 1773) met with violent demonstration among lots of colonists, that disliked their lack of depiction in Parliament and also demanded the very same rights as other British citizens. Colonial resistance resulted in violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a mob of colonists, eliminating 5 men in exactly what was referred to as the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships and disposed 342 chests of tea into Boston Harbor, an annoyed Parliament passed a series of measures (referred to as the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) designed to reassert royal authority in Massachusetts.
The Continental Congress met in May 1775 and accepted to create an army. George Washington was made its commander-in-chief. Congress wished they might force the British to negotiate yet George III refused to compromise. Instead, in August 1775 he stated that the American colonies remained in a state of rebellion. Rule by royal governor fell down as well as the individuals required government without imperial interference. In May 1776 Congress determined that royal government needs to cease and also government must be ‘under the authority of individuals’. Subsequently the colonies prepared state constitutions to change their charters.
By the fall of 1781, the American forces had begun to require the opponent to retreat to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River clears right into Chesapeake Bay. Claiming ailments, the British general sent his replacement, Charles O’Hara, to surrender; after O’Hara approached Rochambeau to surrender his sword (the Frenchman deferred to Washington), Washington offered the nod to his own replacement, Benjamin Lincoln, that approved it. After French assistance aided the Continental Army force the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had successfully won their self-reliance, though fighting would certainly not formally end til 1783.
The movement for American independence properly triumphed at Yorktown, contemporary historians did not see that as the definitive triumph. British as well as American mediators in Paris authorized initial peace terms in Paris late that November, and on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally recognized the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
Just how the American Flag happened
The American flag was created to represent the brand-new union of the thirteen original states: it would have thirteen stripes, alternating red and white, and also thirteen stars, white on a blue area. Among the very first flags had actually the stars set up in a circle, based on the idea that colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, resting side-by-side, represented the battle for independence; red meant valor, white signified purity and also blue stood for loyalty.
In 1818, after a couple of layout adjustments, the United States Congress decided to maintain the flag’s original thirteen stripes and also add brand-new stars to reflect each brand-new state that joined the union.
While there is no question that the real Betsy Ross deserved interest in her very own right, it is the tale of Betsy sewing the first stars and stripes that has made her a memorable historical figure. The Betsy Ross story was given spotlight in 1870 by her grand son, 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 affidavits specifying that they listened to the tale of the making of the very first flag from Betsy’s own mouth.
According to the oral history, in 1776, 3 men – George Washington, Robert Morris, as well as George Ross, checked out Betsy Ross in her upholstery shop. She escorted them to her parlor, where they could have a private meeting. Here, Washington took a folded piece of paper from his inside coat pocket. On it, was an illustration of a flag with thirteen red and white stripes as well as thirteen 6-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy might make a flag from the layout. Betsy responded: “I don’t know, yet I will certainly try.” This line was used in the sworn statements of much of Betsy’s members of the family, suggesting that it is a direct quote from Betsy. As the story goes, Betsy suggested changing the stars to 5 points instead of six. She demonstrated to them how you can do it with simply one snip of her scissors. They all agreed to change the style to have stars with five points.
Nevertheless, some historians believe that it was Francis Hopkisnon who gave birth to the concept of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a preferred patriot, a lawyer, a Congressman from New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, poet, artist, and also distinguished civil servant.
He was appointed to the Continental Navy Board on November 6,1776. It was while serving on the Continental Navy Board that he turned his attention to developing the flag of the United States. Making use of stars in that style is thought to have been the outcome of an experience in the battle straightly pertaining 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 battle. The book, Discourses on Public Occasions in America (London, 1762) by William Smith, D.D., had been a present to him by the author. The soldier, an I. Ewald, composed on the within cover that he had actually seen the writer near Philadelphia which he, Ewald, had taken the book from a great country seat near Philadelphia. The book was consequently given to a person in Philadelphia who returned it to Hopkinson. The soldier had actually composed over and below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had three 6 pointed stars and his household motto, “Semper Paratus”, or “Always Ready”. The secure return of the book may well have represented to Hopkinson the revival of the Americans’ wish.
In a letter to the Board of Admiralty in 1780 Hopkinson asserted that he had created “the flag of the United States of America” in addition to numerous ornaments, devices, and checks showing up on bills of exchange, ship papers, the seals of the boards of Admiralty as well as Treasury, and the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had obtained absolutely nothing for this work, as well as now he sent a bill and asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would certainly not be a sensible and also proper reward for his labors.
However, nobody can be so sure that developed the American flag. The American flag is the sacred symbol of the nation. It symbolizes the citizens’ birthright, their heritage of freedom acquired with blood and also sorrow. The title deed of liberty, which is the country’s to delight in as well as hold in trust for posterity. Infinite caution is the cost of freedom. As you see the flag silhouetted against the tranquil skies of the country, you are reminded that the American flag represents just what you are – no more, no much 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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