The background of the United States is vast and complicated, but can be broken down into moments and periods that divided, combined, as well as changed the United States into the nation it is today. The American flag did not look like it does currently. Apart from that, it went through a great deal of changes and modifications.
The American Revolutionary War
Enter the American Revolution. Often described as the American War of Independence, or the Revolutionary War, it was a war which lasted from 1775-1783 and also enabled the initial 13 colonies to stay independent from Great Britain. Starting in Great Britain in the late 1790s, the Industrial Revolution eventually made its way to the United States and also changed the emphasis of the country’s economy as well as the means it produces products.
These conflicts arose from growing stress in between locals of Great Britain’s 13 North American colonies as well as the colonial government (which stood for the British crown). Efforts by the British federal government to increase earnings by taxing the colonies (notably the Stamp Act of 1765, the Townshend Tariffs of 1767 and the Tea Act of 1773) met with heated protest amongst lots of colonists, who disliked their lack of representation in Parliament and also demanded the very same rights as various other British people.
The Continental Congress convened in May 1775 and agreed to raise an army. George Washington was made its leader. Congress wished they can compel the British to discuss yet George III refused to negotiate. Rather, in August 1775 he proclaimed that the American colonies remained in a state of rebellion. On the other hand, rule by royal governor broke down and also the people demanded government without imperial interference. In May 1776 Congress made a decision that royal government must discontinue and government must be ‘under the authority of individuals’. Consequently the colonies drew up state constitutions to change their charters.
By June 1776, with the Revolutionary War in full swing, an expanding majority of the colonists had actually come to prefer self-reliance from Britain. That same year Richard Henry Lee of the Virginia Assembly presented Congress with resolutions declaring the self-reliance of the colonies, asking for a confederation and shared the need to locate foreign allies for a war versus Britain. On July 4th, the Continental Congress elected to embrace the Declaration of Independence, composed by a five-man committee consisting of Franklin and also John Adams however composed generally by Jefferson. By the fall of 1781, the American forces had actually begun to compel the adversary to retreat to Virginia’s Yorktown peninsula, near where the York River clears 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 prevented British reinforcement or evacuation. Entrapped and subdued, the enemy was forced to surrender their entire military. Claiming ailments, the British general sent his replacement, Charles O’Hara, to surrender; after O’Hara came close to Rochambeau to surrender his sword (the Frenchman deferred to Washington), Washington gave the nod to his very own replacement, Benjamin Lincoln, that approved it. After French support aided the Continental Army require the British surrender at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, the Americans had properly won their independence, though the battle would not formally finish up until 1783.
The movement for American independence effectively won at Yorktown, modern historians did not see that as the decisive victory. British and also American arbitrators in Paris authorized preliminary peace terms in Paris late that November, and on September 3, 1783, Great Britain formally acknowledged the independence of the United States in the Treaty of Paris.
How the American Flag became
The American flag was designed to stand for the new union of the thirteen original states: it would certainly have thirteen stripes, alternating red and also white, as well as thirteen stars, white on a blue area. One of the first flags had actually the stars laid out in a circle, based upon the concept that all colonies were equal. The thirteen stripes, resting side by side, stood for the battle for independence; red meant valiance, white signified pureness and also blue represented loyalty.
In 1818, after a few design adjustments, the United States Congress decided to maintain the flag’s initial thirteen stripes as well as include brand-new stars to show each new state that entered the union.
While there is no doubt 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 actually made her an extraordinary historical figure. The Betsy Ross story was offered 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 household signed vouched affidavits specifying that they heard the tale of the making of the first flag from Betsy’s very own mouth.
According to the oral history, in 1776, three men – George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross, checked out Betsy Ross in her furniture shop. She escorted them to her parlor, where they can have a private meeting. Here, Washington pulled a folded paper from his inside jacket pocket. On it, was a drawing of a flag with thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen six-pointed stars.
Washington asked if Betsy might make a flag from the layout. Betsy responded: “I don’t know, but I will certainly try.” This line was used in the vouched declarations of several of Betsy’s household members, recommending that it is a straight quote from Betsy. As the tale goes, Betsy recommended altering the stars to 5 points instead compared to six.
Nonetheless, some chroniclers believe that it was Francis Hopkisnon that gave birth to the idea of the Stars and Stripes. Francis Hopkinson was a popular patriot, a lawyer, a Congressman from New Jersey, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, poet, musician, as well as 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 transformed his attention to developing the flag of the United States. Using stars in that style is thought to have been the result of an experience in the battle directly pertaining to his propriety.
A publication in Hopkinson’s library at his home in Bordentown was taken by a Hessian soldier in December 1776, a dark year of the battle. The soldier, an I. Ewald, composed on the inside cover that he had actually seen the author near Philadelphia and also that he, Ewald, had taken the book from a great nation seat near Philadelphia. The soldier had composed over as well as below Hopkinson’s bookplate, which had three 6 pointed stars and also his family motto, “Semper Paratus”, or “Always Ready”.
In a letter to the Board of Admiralty in 1780 Hopkinson insisted that he had made “the flag of the United States of America” in addition to several ornaments, devices, and checks appearing on bills of exchange, ship documents, the seals of the boards of Admiralty as well as Treasury, as well as the Great Seal of the United States. Hopkinson had received nothing for this work, as well as currently he sent a bill and asked “whether a Quarter Cask of the public wine” would certainly not be an affordable as well as appropriate reward for his labors.
However, no one can be so sure that produced the American flag. The American flag is the sacred symbol of the nation. It symbolizes the residents’ birthright, their heritage of liberty acquired with blood and also sorrow. The title deed of liberty, which is the country’s to appreciate and keep in trust for posterity. Timeless caution is the price of freedom. As you see the flag silhouetted in front of the calm skies of the country, you are reminded that the American flag represents exactly what you are – no more, no less.
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As taken 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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