The Declaration of Independence set America on a path to be a world power
The uprising of the American Colonies Revolution in 1776 started them on the way to political freedom. This action was destined to create the most powerful country in the world. The Second Continental Congress, which approved the instrument of Declaration of Independence, came 442 days after the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord. The founding fathers had no idea that this act would eventually incorporate the 50 states and the boundaries including Alaska, Hawaii and territories in the Pacific Ocean, into the United States of America.
The 13 colonies enjoyed the highest standard of living of any country in the world at that time. Citizens throughout the world marveled at the wisdom of the founding fathers’ ability to create the Declaration of Independence with such meaningful thoughts.
Not everyone, 15 percent, in the American Colonies were in favor of changing their allegiance from King George to the 13 colonies in America. Many of the loyalist would, after the war was over, leave America to either return to Britain, Canada or a British Colony. Many second generation children of the loyalist would later return and become citizens of the independent colonies.
There was little to celebrate on July 4, 1776. It would be days before word of the signing of the Declaration would even reach the farfetched colonies in the south. Some 10,000 Americans would have to die in battle or from disease and 8,000 wounded in the eight years of war, before the fruits of the American Revolution would be recognized. It would be another year, 1777, before Betsy Ross would create an American flag. That Continental flag as it was then called, was among the first five flags created for nations of the world, the first flag was created for the country of Latvia in the year 1280.
Young people played an important part in the Revolutionary War. Most were literate, they followed the news of the growing conflict. They formed patriotic views and served as messengers, drummers and trumpeters and, some who were expert riflemen, serving with the infantry units in Washington’s Army. They were enthusiastic independent boys and girls even though they were too young to vote, a few were only 10 years old. They fought in 10 major battles and in hundreds of small skirmishes throughout the Revolutionary War.
Two of the few medals created by George Washington were, The Purple Heart, awarded to those wounded in battle. The Badge of Military Merit Distinction was equated latter to the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was awarded for extreme heroic acts and bravery on the battlefield.
The winters during the Revolutionary War were especially cold and harsh. Because of a lack of good winter clothes and food, the winter encampment at Valley Forge was especially brutal to Washington’s Army.
Today, when we are enjoying festivities on the Fourth of July, having a good time, let’s not forget that our patriot soldiers paid a very bitter price in their sufferings endured during the winter months of the Revolutionary War, for our freedom.