I feel that the 4th of July is one of the most celebrated but least understood of American holidays. That is not to say people don't understand why we celebrate to its importance, but that how revolutionary such a moment was and still is to the world today. This was the start of a rebellion led by great men, fought by ordinary men, supported by ordinary women, who together did extraordinary things. And these things were not in the names of a King, country, religion, or single person but of a wish for autonomy and freedom. It wasn't simply throwing off the shackles of the oppressors, though that was a primer, but that people really just wanted to be left to their own devices so they could live their life in pursuit of what they wanted for the future. And I see this in 4 distinct areas, which differ the American Revolutionary experience from that of other Revolutions in history.
Most of this is my opinion, formulated overtime from listening to The Revolutions Podcast by one Mike Duncan. Duncan takes a detailed look at events that occur in revolutions such as the British, American, French, Latin American, and others and relays the information weekly to his listeners. At this point he has cover a total of 8 revolutions including the ones mentioned previously as well as others. They have been done in as much as a chronological order as is possible with history, due to the fact that certain events and revolutions coincide with each other. Anywho...let us, as they say, get into it.
Much of the Revolution was a response to less economic, travel, and speech freedom placed upon the colonies without their consent in parliament. At first it was just taxes, of which were repealed to alleviate stress. However the addition of British forces fresh from fighting around the world in the 7 Years War (of which the French & Indian War was apart of) to cities such as Boston, New York, and other cities, in which citizens were forced to house and care for them raised the tension even higher. These as well as other policies lead to the stockpiling of weapons and the future rebellion/revolution as a result.
The importance here is that, like all revolutions, Americas declaration was that of wanting the freedom they had enjoyed until after British assertion to world power. After that had occurred, more pressure had been exerted on them instead of on the British people as a whole.
Now the important thing here isn't just equality. Plenty of peoples revolted and have committed undesirable acts in the name of equality. Simply look at the French Revolution, they were concerned with Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité sure, but they not only revolted against the monarchy, but the church leaders as well. Compared to France, the founders believed that a Creator would support their efforts as he had created all mankind to be equal before the law and in the rights they hold as his children. France's Declaration of the Rights of Man, however, added on so many asterisks that it was proto-marxist in many respects. Sovereignty rested in the nation as a whole for the French compared to the Sovereignty of God and by extension the individual in America. Thats what differs America from other revolutions, they kept it short and sweet and always pointing to someone greater rather than something greater.
Now this may seem untrue, that us Americans are always just chopping at the bit to cause violence, break things, revolt, etc. Not so, in fact much of the Declaration is a list of ~25 grievances against the King and his government. They have tried to work with their "masters" across the pond to come to a settlement, but each time they succeeded in moving a step forward in relations there would be two steps back down the road. The colonists had been backed into a corner and felt that if they were to have the freedom they deserved, not as Englishman but as human beings, they'd have to "abolish" the very government they lived under.
This is perhaps the most important for today's society. With many of the Left calling to interrupt the daily lives of cabinet members, and other such calls for violent reaction. However, the declaration made by the members of the Continental Convention had a perhaps. It address why they would rebel against their own nation/government.
This may seem short and theres a reason for that. I've already addressed much of this with a short series on the Preamble of the Declaration of Independence (as well as the US Constitution), so if you wish to go deeper check out these links
US Independence Pt. 1
US Independence Pt. 2
I hope you all enjoy this day of freedom. For it was not fought in vain, lives were, have, and still are sacrificed so that sites such as Minds.com can exist. So enjoy your 4th, I know I will
~Veritas Omnia Vincit