See which country celebrates its Independence on July 4 and why it fought a war to attain it

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Femi OGUNLANA
July 4, 1776 was the day the United States of America gained Independence from Great Britain. On this day, the second Continental Congress of the American colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence announcing the thirteen colonies’ separation from Britain.
But Independence didn’t come on a platter, it came off the sweat and blood of the Americans, who stoutly rejected oppression and tyranny.
The ensuing conflict, known as the American Revolutionary War or the American War of Independence, lasted between April 19, 1775 and September 3, 1783.

An artist impression of the war


The struggle was initiated by the delegates to the first Continental Congress. The British colonial government through the Parliament had imposed taxation policies in the American colonies, which were found objectionable. This was rejected and also the colonies demanded representation in the British Parliament. Nonetheless, the colonialists turned a deaf ear.
The founding of the American colonies had begun in about 1600s but were subsequently colonized by Britain.
Great Britain dominated the country regarded as the New World for over a century before the light of freedom began to shine.
Subjugators don’t usually feel the pain and misery of the victims, hence they don’t listen when those ones raise their voice in protest.
Prelude to conflict
Britain fought series of wars against other powers like France and India, from about 1754 to 1763. This constituted a hefty financial drain on the country, forcing the them into debts.
To regain financial stability, it initiated certain measures in its foreign dominions such as imposing the Stamp Act and Townsend Act on the American colonies. This elicited oppositions and unrest. Britain responded with force of arms leading to the Boston Massacre of 1770, and then in 1773, the Boston Tea Party in which an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company, a British company, was destroyed because of tax exemption granted by Britain government, opposed by Americans.
In 1774, the British Parliament further introduced the Intolerable Acts upon Massachusetts. This became intolerable to the colonies and consequently, twelve colonies sent delegates to the First Continental Congress, which held between September 5 and October 26, 1774. The congress succeeded in drafting a petition to the King of Britain, and declared a boycott of British goods
Events now unfolded in rapid succession. On April 19, 1775, fighting broke out when the British army stationed at Boston was harassed by the Massachusetts militia at Lexington and Concord, sequel to the destruction of colonial Assembly powder stores. The colonial soldiers opened fire and killed several people in what is today known as the Boston Massacre.
In June 1775, the Second Continental Congress was convoked by the colonies. They all sent delegates; it was at this Congress that George Washington was appointed to oversee the war, that was now imminent. His first task was to create the Continental Army with mission to immediately capture Boston. On July 4, 1776, the Congress ratified the declaration of Independence.
In response, Britain activated a “coercion policy,” leading inevitably to eruption of hostilities. In the beginning the American soldiers were a rowdy mob, an untrained, unorganized unit, it was after the start of war that a Prussian general, Von Steuben turned them into a more disciplined, efficient force. The army had no uniforms, and were inadequately armed. The only thing that propelled them however was determination.
Allies were formed; the American colonies were boosted when Britain’s rivals like France and Spain joined the fray. The conflict escalated but in the end, justice and strong will prevailed and Britain bowed to the desire of America. It acceded and scurried out of America in 1783, evacuating its routed troops.
United States of America took off on a strong note and is now a prosperous country, the greatest in the world presently.

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