The History Behind Independence Day

the history behind independence day

Independence Day, celebrated on July 4th, is one of the most important and revered holidays in the United States. It marks the day in 1776 when the 13 American colonies formally declared their separation from British rule, leading to the birth of a new nation founded on principles of liberty, equality, and democracy. Celebrated with fireworks, parades, and patriotic displays, Independence Day is a time for Americans to reflect on their history, honor those who fought for their freedoms, and celebrate the values that define their country. In this blog we go over the history behind Independence Day, fun facts, and so much more. 

The Road to Independence

Grievances Against British Rule

The path to independence was paved with numerous grievances against British rule. Starting with the Stamp Act of 1765, which imposed a direct tax on the colonies, to the Townshend Acts and the Tea Act, the American colonists grew increasingly frustrated with “taxation without representation.” These taxes were seen as unjust impositions by a distant government, leading to widespread unrest and protest.

Growing Sentiment of Independence

By the mid-1770s, the sentiment for independence had grown considerably. Influential pamphlets like Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” galvanized public opinion by arguing that independence was not only desirable but inevitable. Paine’s powerful words, “These are the times that try men’s souls,” encapsulated the urgency and gravity of the situation.

Early Battles of the Revolutionary War

The early battles of the Revolutionary War, such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord in April 1775, marked the beginning of armed conflict between the colonies and Britain. The Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775 further demonstrated the resolve and bravery of the colonial forces, despite facing a well-trained British army. These skirmishes set the stage for the larger conflict to come.

The Declaration of Independence

Drafting and Signing

The drafting of the Declaration of Independence is one of the most significant moments in American history. Thomas Jefferson, along with John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston, formed the Committee of Five entrusted with crafting the document. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration, asserting the colonies’ right to self-governance and laying out the philosophical underpinnings of the new nation.

Key Figures and Principles

The Declaration of Independence is renowned for its eloquent expression of universal human rights. The famous line, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” reflects the Enlightenment ideals that influenced the Founding Fathers. These principles of liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness remain central to American identity and governance.

The Revolutionary War

Major Battles and Turning Points

The Revolutionary War was a protracted and bloody conflict, with several key battles shaping its outcome. The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 proved to be a turning point, convincing France to join the war on the American side. The final victory at Yorktown in 1781, where British General Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces, marked the end of major hostilities and paved the way for formal recognition of American independence in the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

The United States Constitution

Development and Adoption

With independence secured, the new nation faced the challenge of creating a stable and effective government. The Articles of Confederation, the initial governing document, proved inadequate, leading to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The United States Constitution, which emerged from this convention, established a framework for federal government that balanced power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Enduring Impact

The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights, enshrined fundamental liberties and the rule of law. It provided a blueprint for governance that has endured for over two centuries, guiding the United States through periods of growth, conflict, and change.

Establishment of Independence Day

First Celebration

The first Independence Day celebration took place on July 4, 1777, in Philadelphia. One year after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the city marked the occasion with a grand display of fireworks, parades, and patriotic songs. John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers, prophetically wrote to his wife that the day “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.”

Evolution of Traditions

Over the years, Independence Day has evolved into a national holiday celebrated with various traditions, including family gatherings, barbecues, and community events. The day serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who fought for independence and the enduring values that continue to unite Americans.


Independence Day is more than just a holiday; it is a celebration of the ideals and principles that form the foundation of the United States. From the grievances against British rule to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, the battles of the Revolutionary War, and the adoption of the Constitution, the story of America’s fight for independence is a testament to the courage, determination, and vision of its people.

As you celebrate this Fourth of July, take a moment to reflect on the history behind the holiday and honor the values of liberty, equality, and democracy that define our nation. Celebrating the Fourth of July with your kids is a fantastic bonding activity. It helps them build lasting memories and develop new skills, all while keeping them off screens. Troomi Wireless supports this by providing safe phones and watches for kids, like the Troomi Phone Pro, which gives parents everything they need and nothing they don’t. Interested in learning more? Click here.

Happy Independence Day!