New Series! Things You Thought You Knew #1: Did America Earn Independence on July 4, 1776?

Welcome back to bythepathlesstraveled! Sorry I’ve been kind of missing-in-action for the last two months — it’s a story for another time. For now, I’d like to get on to happier things, like the topic of this semester’s blog series!

The Things You Thought You Knew series, which will be published every Monday, was hatched in my little brain when I realized that not only do I enjoy random, often pointless facts, I also severely enjoy proving people wrong. šŸ˜‰ Character flaw? Pretty much. But sometimes it’s necessary.

So, what’s the goal of this series? First, it’s to be short, thought-provoking, and to the point. In addition to quenching my ongoing desire to always be right (just kidding…), I thought that these types of questions would really give you guys things to think about. Maybe take your own knowledge with a grain of salt and realize that more than half of what you believe was told to you by others and accepted by you without question. This first one is somewhat easy (some people probably actually know it), but they get harder after this!

So, without further delay, here is Week #1 of Things You Thought You Knew!

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What You Thought You Knew: America earned her independence on the fourth of July in 1776.

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What You Didn’t Know: In all honesty, nothing much happened concerning American freedom on July 4th, 1776. Just as slaves couldn’t justĀ declare themselves free and then be free, America couldn’t either. So while it’s true that we did sign some pretty important stuff on July 4 (or, err, in August, as the signing date is debated too), it didn’t do anything to earn us our freedom. So “Independence Day” is more like “Want to Be Independent Day.”

If we wanted to celebrate ourĀ real independence, we’d really need to wait until September 3. It was on this day that George III actually signed the Treaty of Peace in 1783, seven whole years after we think we were free! After all, it’s not really freedom if the Brits are still fighting you about it (which they were in 1776. And 1777. And 1778…).

Now You Know: that America gained her independence on September 3, 1783, not on July 4, 1776.

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