The background of the United States is vast and also intricate, however can be broken down right into moments and also time periods that divided, linked, as well as altered the United States into the nation it is today. The American flag didn’t look like it does currently. Apart from that, it undertook a great deal of adjustments and modifications.
The American Revolutionary War
Enter the American Revolution. Occasionally described as the American War of Independence, or the Revolutionary War, it was a war which lasted from 1775-1783 and also permitted the initial 13 colonies to remain 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 transformed the emphasis of the country’s economic situation as well as the means it produces products.
For more than 10 years prior to the episode of the revolution in 1775, tensions had been building between colonists as well as the British authorities. These tensions emerged from expanding stress between residents of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies as well as the colonial government (which represented the British crown). Efforts by the British government to increase income by collecting tax from the colonies (notably the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 and also the Tea Act of 1773) met with violent demonstration amongst numerous colonists, who disliked their absence of representation in Parliament as well as required the exact same civil liberties as other British subjects. Colonial resistance resulted in violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of colonists, eliminating 5 men in what was referred to as the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships and unloaded 342 chests of tea right into Boston Harbor, an outraged Parliament passed a series of procedures (known as the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) developed to reassert imperial authority in Massachusetts.
The Continental Congress met in May 1775 and also agreed to make an army. George Washington was made its leader. Congress hoped they could compel the British to negotiate but George III chose not to negotiate. Instead, in August 1775 he proclaimed that the American colonies were in a state of disobedience. Meanwhile, rule by royal governor broke down and individuals required government without royal intervention. In May 1776 Congress determined that royal government ought to discontinue and also government must be ‘under the authority of the people’. Subsequently the colonies drew up state constitutions to replace their charters.
By June 1776, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, a growing bulk of the colonists had pertained to favor independence from Britain. That exact same year Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia Assembly provided Congress with resolutions declaring the freedom of the colonies, requiring a confederation and also revealed the should discover international allies for a war versus Britain. On July 4th, the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence, drafted by a five-man board including Franklin and also John Adams however composed mainly by Jefferson. By the fall of 1781, the American army had actually begun to require the adversary to retreat to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River empties into Chesapeake Bay. Supported by a French army led by General Jean Baptiste de Rochambeau, Washington moved against Yorktown with an overall of around 14,000 soldiers, while a fleet of 36 French battleships offshore prevented British support or evacuation. Trapped and also overpowered, the opponent was required to surrender their whole military. Claiming disease, 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 gave the nod to his own deputy, Benjamin Lincoln, who approved it. After French assistance helped the Continental Army force the British abandonment at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had effectively won their self-reliance, though fighting would certainly not officially end til 1783.
Though the motion for American independence effectively triumphed at Yorktown, contemporary observers did not see that as the definitive victory yet. British forces stayed based around Charleston, and the effective major military still stayed in New York. The British removal of their troops from Charleston as well as Savannah in late 1782 ultimately indicated completion of the dispute. British as well as American mediators in Paris signed initial peace terms in Paris late that November, as well as on September 3, 1783, Great Britain officially identified the freedom of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, Britain authorized separate peace treaties with France and Spain (which had actually gone into the dispute in 1779), bringing the American Revolution to a close after 8 long years.
Exactly how the American Flag came to be
The American flag was created to represent the new union of the thirteen initial states: it would certainly have thirteen stripes, alternating red and also white, and thirteen stars, white on a blue area. One of the first flags had the stars set up in a circle, based upon the idea that all colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, resting side-by-side, represented the struggle for freedom; red meant valiance, white signified pureness as well as blue represented commitment.
In 1818, after a few design changes, the United States Congress decided to retain the flag’s initial thirteen stripes and also add new stars to reflect each new state that got in the union.
While there is no doubt that the actual Betsy Ross deserved interest in her own right, it is the tale of Betsy stitching the initial stars and stripes that has made her an extraordinary historic figure. The Betsy Ross tale was offered spotlight in 1870 by her grandson, William Canby, in a speech he made to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Canby and various other participants of Betsy’s household authorized vouched testimonies stating that they heard the story of the making of the first flag from Betsy’s own mouth.
Based on the oral history, in 1776, 3 men – George Washington, Robert Morris, as well as George Ross, saw Betsy Ross in her upholstery shop. She escorted them to her parlor, where they can have a private meeting. Here, Washington pulled a folded up piece of paper from his inside jacket pocket. On it, was a sketch of a flag with thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen six-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy could make a flag from the design. Betsy responded: “I do not know, but I will attempt.” This line was utilized in the vouched statements of much of Betsy’s relatives, suggesting that it is a direct quote from Betsy. As the tale goes, Betsy suggested changing the stars to five points rather than six. She demonstrated to them how to do it with simply one snip of her scissors. They all agreed to alter the layout to have stars with five points.
Some chroniclers believe that it was Francis Hopkisnon that provided birth to the suggestion of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a popular patriot, a legal representative, a Congressman from New Jersey, an endorser of the Declaration of Independence, poet, musician, as well as identified civil servant.
He was assigned to the Continental Navy Board on November 6,1776. It was while serving on the Continental Navy Board that he transformed his attention to designing the flag of the United States. Making use of stars in that design is believed to have been the outcome of an experience in the war straightly related to his propriety.
A book in Hopkinson’s library at his home in Bordentown was taken by a Hessian soldier in December 1776, a dark year of the war. The soldier, an I. Ewald, created on the within cover that he had actually 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 created over and below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had 3 six pointed stars and his family motto, “Semper Paratus”, or “Always Ready”.
In a letter to the Board of Admiralty in 1780 Hopkinson insisted that he had actually created “the flag of the United States of America” as well as several ornaments, devices, and checks showing up on bills of exchange, ship papers, the seals of the boards of Admiralty and also Treasury, and also the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had actually received nothing for this work, as well as currently he sent a bill and also asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would certainly not be a reasonable and 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 grief. The title deed of freedom, which is the nation’s to enjoy and also keep in trust for posterity. Timeless alertness is the rate of liberty. As you see the flag silhouetted against the serene skies of the country, 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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