The history of the United States is substantial and intricate, yet can be broken down right into milestones and periods that separated, linked, as well as transformed the United States into the country it is today. The American flag didn’t look like it does currently. Besides that, it went through a great deal of modifications and also adjustments.
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 also permitted the initial 13 colonies to continue to be independent from Great Britain. Beginning in Great Britain in the late 1790s, the Industrial Revolution at some point made its path to the United States as well as transformed the emphasis of the nation’s economic situation and also the way it makes products.
For more than a decade 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 locals of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies and also the early american government (which represented the British crown). Efforts by the British government to elevate income by taxing the colonies (notably the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 as well as the Tea Act of 1773) met with violent objection amongst numerous colonists, who resented their absence of depiction in Parliament as well as required the exact same rights as other British subjects. Colonial resistance resulted in physical violence in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a crowd of colonists, eliminating five men in exactly what was known as the Boston Massacre. After December 1773, when a band of Bostonians dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded British ships and dumped 342 chests of tea right into Boston Harbor, an annoyed Parliament passed a series of actions (known as the Intolerable, or Coercive Acts) developed to reassert imperial authority in Massachusetts.
The Continental Congress convened in May 1775 and also accepted to raise an army. George Washington was made its leader. Congress wished they could force the British to discuss yet George III chose not to compromise. Instead, in August 1775 he stated that all the American colonies remained in a state of rebellion. At the same time, rule by royal governor broke down as well as the people demanded government without imperial intervention. In May 1776 Congress decided that imperial government needs to stop as well as government needs to be ‘under the authority of individuals’. Subsequently the colonies drew up state constitutions to change their charters.
By the autumn of 1781, the American forces had actually begun to require the adversary to retreat to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River clears into Chesapeake Bay. 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, that accepted it. After French assistance helped the Continental Army require the British abandonment at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had efficiently won their self-reliance, though the war would not officially finish until 1783.
Though the movement for American freedom efficiently triumphed at Yorktown, contemporary historians did not see that as the decisive victory yet. British armies remained stationed around Charleston, and also the powerful major military still resided in New York. The British exit of their soldiers from Charleston and Savannah in late 1782 finally pointed to the end of the conflict. British and American negotiators in Paris signed preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and also on September 3, 1783, Great Britain officially recognized the freedom of the United States in the Treaty of Paris. At the same time, Britain authorized different peace treaties with France as well as Spain (which had gone into the conflict in 1779), bringing the American Revolution to a close after 8 lengthy years.
How the American Flag came to be
The American flag was made to represent the brand-new union of the thirteen original states: it would have thirteen stripes, alternating red and also white, as well as thirteen stars, white on a blue field. One of the first flags had actually the stars set up in a circle, based upon the suggestion that colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, laid out side-by-side, stood for the struggle for freedom; red meant valiance, white signified purity and also blue stood for loyalty.
In 1818, after a couple of design changes, the United States Congress chose to preserve the flag’s initial thirteen stripes and add brand-new stars to show each brand-new state that joined the union.
While there is no question that the genuine Betsy Ross deserved interest in her own right, it is the tale of Betsy sewing the initial stars and stripes that has actually made her a remarkable historic number. The Betsy Ross story was offered public attention 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 household signed vouched testimonies stating that they listened to the tale of the making of the initial 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 upholstery shop. 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 could make a flag from the design. Betsy responded: “I don’t know, yet I will attempt.” This line was utilized in the sworn statements of numerous of Betsy’s household members, suggesting that it is a straight quote from Betsy. As the tale goes, Betsy suggested transforming the stars to 5 points instead than six.
However, some historians believe that it was Francis Hopkisnon that brought to life the concept of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a popular patriot, a lawyer, a Congressman from New Jersey, an endorser of the Declaration of Independence, poet, musician, and identified civil servant.
He was designated to the Continental Navy Board on November 6,1776. It was while serving on the Continental Navy Board that he turned his attention to creating the flag of the United States. Making use of stars because style is believed to have actually been the result of an experience in the battle straightly pertaining to his propriety.
A book in Hopkinson’s library at his residence in Bordentown was taken by a Hessian soldier in December 1776, a dark year of the battle. The soldier, one I. Ewald, wrote on the inside cover that he had seen the writer near Philadelphia as well as that he, Ewald, had actually taken the book from a great nation seat near Philadelphia. The soldier had actually composed over as well as listed below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had three 6 pointed stars as well as his family adage, “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 numerous ornaments, devices, and checks appearing on bills of exchange, ship papers, the seals of the boards of Admiralty as well as Treasury, as well as the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had gotten nothing for this work, and also now he submitted a bill and asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would not be a practical and appropriate incentive for his labors.
Even so, nobody can be so sure who developed the American flag. The American flag is the spiritual emblem of the nation. It represents the peoples’ birthright, their heritage of freedom acquired with blood as well as sorrow. The title deed of liberty, which is the country’s to delight in and hold in trust for posterity. Infinite alertness is the price of liberty. As you see the flag silhouetted against the calm skies of the nation, you are reminded that the American flag represents just 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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