Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day

So how did this beautiful country come about?  Well, the story is long as you may know, but I'll try to keep it as short as possible, but try to cover the important aspect of the beginning.

On July 4th, 1776, elected delegates, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, changed the course of the history of the world by signing the Declaration of Independence.

Rebel Army's General George Washington's and his barely trained troops, faced hundreds of British ships equipped with heavy canons and soldiers.  Each ship costing the equivalent of a modern aircraft carrier.  Here's a quote from General Washington's secretary, Joseph Reed, “When I look down, and see the prodigious fleet they have collected, I cannot help but be astonished that a people should come 3000 miles at such risk trouble and expense to rob, plunder and destroy another people because they will not lay their lives and fortune at their feet.”  What a site it must have been.

Some of these ships were used to imprison rebel POWs.  Most infamous due to the harsh conditions in which prisoners were kept, was the Jersey.  Here nearly nine out of ten POWs died.  In New York harbor, Washington faced his first defeat.

This defeat, gave rise to different tactics, such as sharp shooters, targeting the British officers, and to the gorilla tactics, that the rebels used leaving the soldiers confused and in disarray.

Seeing the tide turn against the British, the French joined in to help the patriots fight against the British.  The French introduced Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, an officer in the Prussian military to the patriots.  Steuben trained and polished the rebel forces and ultimately wrote a manual of military training, approved by General Washington, some of which is still in use today. 

The British ultimately suffered heavy damage, and surrendered, and began negotiations for peace.  The United States became the only country to rebel against and win the war against the British, forever changing the history of the world.  And that's just part of why the United States of America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world!

Source:  America: The Story of Us, a series by The History Channel