July 4th is the day on which the democratic America took shape. It was on this day in 1776 the diction of the Declaration of Independence was finalized by the Continental Congress and signed. It was then America broke completely away from the British Jurisdiction.
As a result of the conflict between the Anglican Church and the puritans of England, some of the puritans believed that England has ceased to be a place that is conducive for living. The religious differences made these people leave England in the legendary ship ‘Mayflower’ for the ‘New world’ discovered by Columbus. They came with the dream of a better life free of religious and political suppression.
There began the actual struggle of the American who is determined to achieve success by virtue of his willingness to work hard. The early days of these immigrants were extremely turbulent with the Native Americans’ antagonism. In spite of everything the colonies were established and the American Dream began to take shape from then on, even if the term was used centuries later by the reputed American historian, James Truslow Adams, in his book ‘The epic of America’.
It was in 1776 the dream of a free America was realized. Thereafter, the efforts to establish equality of opportunity in spite of birth and diverse nationality began. The present Americans are descendants of immigrants from various European countries. So it was a struggle to establish a totally fair state of affairs in which every American can live and succeed without sacrificing his original culture.
America can be better described as a melting pot of civilizations to evolve a culture of its own. Through the years Americans have achieved their aspiration and the American Dream keeps changing with the advancing years. Now it is a country with very few restrictions. A considerable amount of freedom is bestowed upon its citizens, so that everyone gets equal opportunities to strive for elevation in his or her social as well as financial status.
The 4th of July is declared as a national holiday and the Americans celebrate this day in every possible way. Rallies, processions, political and cultural meetings and programs are conducted to commemorate the birth of Independent America. People observe this day with social and private celebrations. They get together in small and large numbers to enjoy themselves with complete abandon.
The American Flag was designed on the first anniversary of the independence by the recommendation of Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress. It was decided that there will be thirteen stripes alternating red and white and a collection of thirteen white stars on a blue background representing the thirteen British colonies in the New World. The flag went through many alterations before it acquired the present form. Now it has 13 stripes representing the colonies and 50 stars representing the 50 states of The United States of America
The origin of the American National Anthem is very dramatic. It was written by a lawyer-poet, Francis Scott Key, who was greatly inspired to see the ‘star spangled banner’ fluttering, following a bombardment of Fort McHenry in the harbor at Baltimore by British forces on September 13, 1814. He witnessed it from aboard a war ship and was inspired with great love for his country and its valour. He began composing the poem then and there and later it was adapted to be the National Anthem.
America has come quite far from the impoverished initial colonies pursuing the American Dream, led by its illustrious presidents from George Washington to Barak Obama. All of them were great visionaries in their own rights and have brought America right on to the top of the world.
by Marina Chernyak
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