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Biden skewered for saying Americans might be allowed to gather on the Fourth of July: ‘We live in a free country’

President Joe Biden delivered a speech in which he outlined his plan to “get back to normal” on the one-year anniversary of the start of coronavirus lockdowns. In his first prime-time speech, Biden teased that Americans might be allowed to gather in “small groups” by the Fourth of July. The premise that Americans will need permission to gather on Independence Day was ridiculed and scoffed at by many internet commenters.

“I need every American to do their part, and that’s not hyperbole,” Biden said in the televised speech. “I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity, and to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well.”

“If we do all this, if we do our part, if we do this together, by July the Fourth, there’s a good chance,” the president said, “you, your families and friends will be able to get together in your back yard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day. That doesn’t mean large events with lots of people together, but it does mean small groups will be able to get together.”

“July Fourth with your loved ones is the goal, but a goal, a lot can happen,” Biden cautioned. “Conditions can change. The scientists have made clear that things may get worse again as new variants of the virus spread. We’ve got work to do to ensure that everyone has confidence in the safety and effectiveness of all three vaccines.”

The official Twitter account for the POTUS wrote, “If we all do our part, then by July 4th, there’s a good chance folks will be able to gather with family and close friends to celebrate Independence Day.”

The White House COVID-19 Response Team added, “By May 1st, every adult in this country will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine but we all have to do our part: Get your shot and help the people you know get theirs, and by July 4th, the President says we may be able to get together with loved ones to celebrate Independence Day.”

The assertion that Americans might be allowed to gather on Independence Day, of all days, was lampooned on Twitter by many.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie from Kentucky proclaimed, “If you’re waiting for permission from the chief executive to celebrate Independence Day with your family, you clearly don’t grasp the concept of Independence.”

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio suggested, “Here’s an idea, Mr. President: Freedom.”

Republican Sen. John Cornyn from Texas asked the question, “If every willing person in America is vaccinated for #COVID19 by May, as POTUS has said, why put our lives on hold till July the 4th?”

Dave Rubin, BlazeTV personality and host of “The Rubin Report,” gave advice to Americans, “A year ago it was two weeks to flatten the curve. Now it’s four months from today if you behave small groups will be able to get together to celebrate July 4th. Stop listening to these maniacs. Go lives your lives, folks.”

Sara Gonzales, the host of BlazeTV‘s “The News and Why It Matters,” pointed out, “Anyone else see the gross irony of the American government telling us if we act right they might allow us freedom on our own Independence Day?”

Political commentator Liz Wheeler noted, “Biden apparently doesn’t understand what Independence Day means. The irony of a politician telling us who were are allowed to hang out with on Independence Day is, I’m sure, lost on all liberals.”

Omri Ceren, national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz, said, “I don’t know much about political communication but ‘if you do this thing the government is instructing you to do, maybe you’ll be able to join your family and friends outdoors to celebrate a holiday about independence from oppressive governance’ strikes me as an odd approach.”

OutKick founder and host Clay Travis tweeted, “Joe Biden just said by July 4th you might be able to gather with small groups to celebrate if all goes well. Or you can go sit and watch a baseball game with 40,000 people in a sold out MLB stadium in Texas on April 5th.”

Retired U.S. Air Force colonel Rob Maness declared, “Hey @JoeBiden I will spend this July 4th however and with whomever I want to.”

Mercedes Schlapp, former White House director of strategic communications for former President Donald Trump, said, “The speechwriter should be fired. Seriously July 4th? Where have these people been? People are getting together. They are done with these arbitrary deadlines & lockdowns. We don’t need permission from the federal government to be with loved ones. Let the American people decide.”

Republican congressional candidate Catalina Lauf stated, “Biden ‘By July the 4th, you’ll get to see your family and friends if you do this…’ If you do this than you can do that. Excuse me? We live in a free Country, we can see our loved ones before July 4th, any time before and any time after.”

New York Post editor Kelly Jane Torrance sneered, “‘If we do this together, by July 4th, there is a good chance you, your family and friends can get together in your backyard and celebrate Independence Day.’ I don’t need the president’s permission to get together (especially OUTSIDE) with my family and friends.”

Independent journalist Kyle Becker stated, “Someone remind me: What happened on the Fourth of July at the founding of this country? Oh, that’s right, we declared Independence from tyrants.”

Political analyst David Chapman added, “You know things are bad when the Government is dictating how we can celebrate Independence Day.”

Turning Point USA contributor Jordan Rachel wrote, “Raise your hand if you’re going to get together with WHOEVER you want to on the 4th of July and do WHATEVER the hell you want because you’re an American.”

Radio host Jesse Kelly joked, “I’m still laughing about President Pudding Brain telling America when they’ll be allowed to gather and do things. Our politicians in this country have forgotten who runs things around here.”

Conservative YouTuber Anthony Brian Logan stated, “If Black Lives Matter can riot for a whole year then I can do whatever I gosh darn please on the 4th of July.”

Twitter commentator Razor added snark, “Everyone can have a vaccine shot by May 1, and maybe on the 4th of July we’ll let you celebrate (but not assemble in large groups) independence from tyrannical government.”

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert from Colorado had this to say.

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Police arrest seven white men in Oregon for harassing black family by using racial slurs and Nazi salutes

Police in Oregon arrested seven white men over Independence Day weekend on charges that included threatening law enforcement and harassing a black family.

According to the Lincoln City Police Department, the group was “confrontational and highly intoxicated” during the incident.

The department said in a news release that officers had arrived on the scene late Saturday evening during Fourth of July celebrations after bystanders had reported the group of white men for shooting off illegal fireworks on the beach. When officers arrived, the group allegedly surrounded them and began “taunting and challenging” them for seizing the fireworks.

It was at this point that police learned the same group had allegedly been harassing a black family nearby, “yelling racial slurs at them, insulting them, and using Nazi salutes towards them.”

After the black family informed police that they felt threatened by the group’s actions, police formed a barrier between them and the group of white men and allowed the family to leave the beach and return to their room.

While this was happening, some in the group began challenging the officers to fight, while others resumed shooting off “multiple large illegal aerial fireworks.”

Additional law enforcement was called to the scene before officers moved in to make the arrests.

The department said that the seven men, who ranged in age from 22 to 45 and were all from Clark County, Wash., were arrested for the following crimes: “Riot, Interfering with Police, Disorderly Conduct II, Harassment, Possession of Illegal Fireworks, and Offensive Littering.”

Due to current coronavirus restrictions, six of the arrested individuals have been released and issued criminal citations. The seventh, who was found with no ID and refused to identify himself, was “transported to and booked into the Lincoln County Jail for fingerprint identification” and charged with the same crimes as the others.

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VIDEO: Far-left protesters celebrate July 4th by burning, stomping American flag outside White House

Far-left protesters celebrated American independence outside the White House on Saturday by burning and stomping on the American flag.

Video taken from outside the White House following President Donald Trump’s Independence Day speech showed protesters defiling Old Glory while shouting, “America was never great!”

“Know what this f***king flag represents,” one protester says, before leading others in a chant.

“One, two, three, four, slavery, geno-cide, and war,” the protesters scream. “Five, six, seven, eight, America was never great. America was never great. America was never great.”

(Content Warning: The following videos contain strong language):

According to The Hill, the demonstrations were organized by a group with communist principles.

The flag-burning was organized by the Revolutionary Communist Party. A speak out before the event was held by Refuse Fascism, which also held protests nationwide on July Fourth calling for the removal of Trump and Vice President Pence from office. Refuse Fascism posted on its website that it also created and then tore down a “statue” of Trump outside of Trump Tower in New York.

Other videos showed alleged Black Lives Matter protesters say, “F*** the 4th of July, F*** the American flag,” while other videos showed demonstrators dance on the American flag.

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Incredible video shows how defiant Californians responded to ban on Fourth of July celebrations

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, demanded that his city’s residents cancel their Fourth of July celebrations over fear of spreading coronavirus — and even outlawed firework shows in Los Angeles County, according to KABC-TV.

“We’re going to have to celebrate differently this year. Everyone should cancel plans with others for the 4th of July. You shouldn’t gather with anyone who doesn’t live in your household. Please stay home and save lives — it’s that simple,” Garcetti said.

But video taken from Los Angeles after the sun went down Saturday showed how defiant Californians responded — with a skyline full of beautiful fireworks.

Here’s a time-lapse of the Los Angeles skyline Saturday night:

As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “God bless the good people of California.”

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Colin Kaepernick bashes America on July 4th — but had completely different message when Obama was president

Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback turned activist, denounced America on Independence Day this year — but he had a completely different message when Barack Obama was president.

In his Fourth of July message, Kaepernick claimed the national holiday, marking America’s independence from Great Britain, is a “celebration of white supremacy.”

“Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all,” Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick has turned up the volume on his anti-America rhetoric in recent years, especially in the wake of his departure from the NFL.

Last year, on Thanksgiving Day, Kaepernick bashed America while celebrating “Unthanksgiving Day.”

“The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always,” Kaepernick said.

Then, after U.S. armed forces killed Iran military commander Qassem Soleimani, Kaepernick accused the U.S. of engaging in racist “terrorist attacks.”

“There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people for the expansion of American imperialism,” Kaepernick said. “America has always sanctioned and besieged Black and Brown bodies both at home and abroad. America militarism is the weapon wielded by American imperialism, to enforce its policing and plundering of the non white world.”

However, when Obama was president, Kaepernick sang a much different tune on Independence Day.

In 2011, Kaepernick said, “Happy 4th of july everyone I hope everyone has a blessed day.”

In 2012, Kaepernick said, “Hope everyone has a blessed 4th, as for me I’m on that workout flow first.”

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Steve Deace: Time for the US to lose the question mark about who we really are

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

America’s national anthem ends with a question mark.

That’s easy to forget, because all of our best memories of it being performed are so declarative and unambiguous in their pride. Often times, there will be military jets racing across the sky over packed football stadiums to put an exclamation point on the song’s soaring final notes. In those moments, the usual taken-for-grantedness of our blessings ebbs long enough and we are certain, if only fleetingly, that we are self-evidently part of something special.

That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness beyond words when watching an American athlete stand atop the Olympic podium with gold around their neck, and tears running down their cheeks, as they sing and gaze upon the rising colors. Or life and liberty beyond the last full measure of devotion, as veterans solemnly pause to salute a flag at a monument built by a grateful public to recognize the dignity of their sacrifice.

Behind it all is a sort of civic herd immunity, if you will, to the viciousness and the vices that sought to keep America from being birthed in the first place — or to keep it from flourishing once it took root. We, the people, have always been charged with passing that immunity on from generation to generation. We make declarative statements and take declarative action when it really matters to eliminate all doubt of our willingness to stand that post. That is supposed to be our defining legacy as a people.

No question marks on our watch.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish…”

“… this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

“…when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

But let’s face it. Most of America at this point has never heard those historic words, let alone knows who said them. Yet many of those same ignorant people are ready and willing to virtue signal that it is time to tear all the statues down because the past is, by definition, racist.

Welcome to CHAZ, a place that exists in the hearts and minds of traitors within our ranks well beyond the bounds of Seattle. It is where the disconnect from the reality of the words laid out above is total and simply beyond repair. Up is not only down, but down is a dude who can menstruate.

Which is also why Fourth of July events are being given the lockdown treatment while violent BLM/Antifa mobs and the Rainbow Jihad are allowed to commandeer the streets with impunity. You are being told in no uncertain terms that this isn’t your country. You, your hopes, your dreams, they are canceled and may even deserve a random beating if you are really lucky. Because America was never good anyway.

One political party in this country has a tramp stamp of that sentiment tattooed on its non-gender specific back, while the other has a not-so-secret fetish for being dominated into submission by such usurpers. A virus has consumed us, and it has nothing to do with COVID.

So I’m afraid I can’t wish you a happy 4th this year. I simply don’t know how. Land of the free? Home of the brave? All I see, all I hear, is the question mark.

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VICTORY: Britain concedes America’s independence, signs Treaty of Paris

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PARIS; SEPTEMBER 3, 1783— In a monumentous event that will surely change the balance of power in Europe and across the globe, the British government has signed a treaty recognizing the independence of its former colony, the United States of America.

America’s recognition as an independent country formalizes what has long been considered a foregone conclusion since the surrender of Lord Cornwallis’ forces in Yorktown, Virginia. After Cornwallis’ military disaster, the British government has faced considerable unrest and upheaval, which saw the government of Lord North fall in favor of the Earl of Shelburne, who promptly began negotiations with the American diplomatic team of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay. Adams had been dispatched to France in 1779 for peace talks that were at that time still very premature. Adams ran personally afoul of French diplomat Charles Gravier, Count of Vergennes, and sources indicate that the bulk of negotiating with the French was carried out by Franklin and Jay.

Together, the trio of negotiators deftly maneuvered through a delicate bargaining situation, and ensured not only that Britain offered generous terms to the Americans, but also that America did not end up as a vassal state of France. According to the terms of the treaty, Britain will be required to return Florida to Spain, but will be permitted to retain its territory in Canada. British forces will immediately commence withdrawal from American territory. America will be granted all other land currently held by Britain on the North American continent as far west as the Mississippi River, greatly enlarging the fledgling country’s size and providing plentiful territory for new settlers to claim. The settlement of land west of Appalachia was an especially thorny point of contention between American colonists and the British government prior to the start of the war.

Most surprisingly, the British agreed to terms that did not require the American colonists to pay reparations to loyalists for property damaged during the war. Instead, the treaty simply required Congress to
advise each of the American colonies to make restitution for “rights and properties which have been confiscated.” Colonists will likewise be required to pay prewar debts to British creditors “in Sterling Money.”

The terms of the treaty represent almost total victory for the American negotiating team, and reflect not only America’s strong bargaining position, won by the army at Yorktown, and Shelburne’s eagerness to put the war behind him, on behalf of Great Britain. Sources inside the French government indicate that Vergennes and others were angered to learn that the Americans had concluded a separate piece with the British. One anonymous French diplomat claimed that America’s decision would likely encourage Britain to take a harder line with France than they otherwise would have during the course of negotiating a joint treaty. However, a swift and passionate apology from Benjamin Franklin seems to have averted more open hostility between America and France, and France has even indicated a willingness to extend financial aid to the fledgling country as a way to ensure America’s continued indpendence from this day forward.

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BREAKING: Cornwallis surrenders in Yorktown; end of war may be in sight

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA (OCTOBER 19, 1781) — After nearly a month of intense battle, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, commander of the British forces in the southern theater, signed a formal agreement of British surrender today, ending the Battle of Yorktown.

The surrender, which was overseen by Gen. George Washington, marked the end of the bloody battle, which had raged on since September. Washington and Cornwallis began surrender negotiations on Oct. 17 at the Moore House.

Lord Cornwallis did not attend the actual signing of surrender, citing an illness, and sent his second-in-command, Gen. Charles O’Hara, to the ceremony. There, O’Hara carried Cornwallis’ sword to American and French commanders.

In all, Cornwallis surrendered nearly 8,000 men and seamen, more than 100 cannons and more than a dozen ships. As British troops marched out to surrender, a band reportedly played the song, “The World Turned Upside Down.”

The decisive Continental victory has boosted American morale and many hope it will be the final major battle of the war as American delegates have already begun to discuss what negotiations with the British to formally surrender the war may look like.

The American victory came more than five years after America declared its independence from King George III on July 4, 1776.

The battle began late last month after Gen. Washington with the help of the Marquis de Lafayette, the Count de Rochambeau and the Count de Grasse were able to surround Cornwallis’ weathered troops in southern Virginia.

Count de Grasse was able to win a sea victory in early September, defeating the British Navy and preventing them from providing Cornwallis with supplies and reinforcements. That, along with thousands of French reinforcements and Washington’s battle-tested troops, proved too much to overcome for Cornwallis.

According to initial reports, 200 to 300 British troops were killed in the battle while an unknown number were wounded when taken prisoner. Less than 100 French and Continental troops were killed, while it is estimated that just over 300 were wounded.

It is reported that a British ship carrying 7,000 men was on its way to provide aid to Cornwallis, but that ship never arrived, potentially because of the French Navy’s command of the Chesapeake Bay.

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British win Battle of Guilford Courthouse in North Carolina — but suffer significant, heavy losses

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA (MARCH 15, 1781) — When the smoke cleared March 15, 1781, around North Carolina’s Guilford Courthouse, vastly outnumbered British troops forced the Americans to retreat over the hills and into the forests — but suffered
significant, heavy losses while the Continental Army remained far more intact.

The tide had been turning in favor of the American forces in the southern colonies since late 1780, marked by Gen. George Washington tapping Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene as commander of the Continental Army in the South.

And one of Greene’s first orders of business was to divide his troops in the Carolinas to give his adversary, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis of the British Army, multiple fronts in the region to contend with. Greene’s move was a good one, as the Americans bested the British in January 1781 at Cowpens, South Carolina.

Still Cornwallis went after the Continental Army, pursuing it through North Carolina as the weary Redcoats’ rations and supplies depleted. And while Greene’s forces were on the run, the commander in the South also was rebuilding his forces and continued to do so in Virginia.

Then Greene’s troops — now numbering about 4,500 — crossed back into North Carolina on March 14 to prepare for battle and set up camp around Guilford Courthouse, in the north central area of the state.

The next day, despite being heavily outnumbered with just under 2,000 soldiers, Cornwallis decided it was time and the British advanced on the Americans.

The two-hour battle saw the Continental forces discharging heavy fire against the British.

While the Americans gave ground, they counterattacked, which led to a “savage and confused melee,”
British Battles recorded.

Cornwallis then ordered the firing of grape shot — a canvas bag packed tightly with small slugs and pellets — into the fracas, which killed both Americans and British forces, British Battles noted. With that, the Americans retreated — but the British were in no condition to pursue.

The British
lost about a fourth of their forces at Guilford — troops that couldn’t be replaced, British Battles added — while Greene’s retreating Continental forces suffered far less in the balance. By the numbers: the Redcoats saw 550 of their troops killed and wounded and lost 11 of 19 officers in their Foot Guards. The Americans, on the other hand, saw 250 killed, wounded and captured.

Adding to Cornwallis’ misery was lack of supplies and word that an officer on whom he relied a great deal — Lt. Col. James Webster — was dead, British Battles said.

In the final analysis, even from the British point of view, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse proved a “Pyrrhic victory” for the Redcoats — a triumph that levels such a heavy toll on the winner that it’s not much of a conquest at all.

Indeed, British statesman Charles James Fox
said of Cornwallis’ tactical triumph: “Another such victory would ruin the British army.”

So Cornwallis gave up his Carolinas campaign and soon led his forces into Virginia — and finally, Yorktown.

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France bolsters US resistance against British offensive, officially enters war

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PARIS, FRANCE (FEBRUARY 6, 1778) — Following U.S. diplomats Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee’s meeting with King Louis XVI in December 1776, King Louis XVI announced today that France would officially join the United States’ war effort against Great Britain.

The French formally acknowledged the United States and their decision to ally with them against the British, and signed what they called The Treaty of Amity and Commerce, which recognized the States as an independent nation. The treaty also encouraged further trade between France and the States.

The Treaty of Amity and Commerce was directly followed by the The Treaty of Alliance, which formed a military alliance against Great Britain with the stipulations that the States would not accept peace with Great Britain that did not include their independence, and that the French would be allowed to conquer the British West Indies.

Before France’s entry into the war, the European nation — for over a year — has been rumored to be providing U.S. soldiers with armaments and supplies.

After many months of deliberation, King Louis XVI — initially a skeptic of the colonies’ fledgling republic — made the decision to ally with U.S forces. Sources close to the king say that his blatant hostility toward the British won out over his skepticism of the military viability of the Continental Army.

The French was also reportedly concerned that the French Navy was insufficient and thusly unprepared to enter a war against the British. As a result, sources say that King Louis XVI was reluctant to put the French economy in further debt.

However, the Battles of Saratoga, fought in 1777, were a turning point in convincing King Louis XVI to join the war effort against Great Britain.

After British Gen. John Burgoyne launched an attack against Gen. Horatio Gates and his American forces in the first battle of Saratoga in September 1777, King Louis was convinced of the States’ ability to stand on its own two feet after British forces were defeated and surrendered in October 1777.

Leading up to the King’s official announcement that the French would back the States’ efforts, French foreign minister Charles Gravier had decided that French forces should enter the war after the city of Philadelphia fell to British control in September 1777.

Gravier’s decision was as a result of fear that the States would not win the war against the British without French intervention.

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Shocking details of starvation, disease, lack of clothing as troops emerge from Valley Forge

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

VALLEY FORGE, PENNSYLVANIA (MARCH 1, 1778) — Winters in Pennsylvania tend to be cold, and this past winter has been no different with its blowing wind and plentiful snow. It appears that a warmer winter could have been wished for by Gen. George Washington and his troops, who have spent this past winter in Valley Forge.

Washington chose the location to settle his troops for the winter because it was only 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, where the British were stationed. A fairly secure location and defensible, it was close enough to keep tabs on their enemy.

It was soon discovered, however, that given the lack of any existing shelter, the lack of food, money, or, in many cases, clothing for the soldiers, the cold Pennsylvania winter would prove to be a long and costly one.

It has been well documented that the Continental Army has been accustomed to being ill-provisioned, frequently lacking food and often not being paid by the Continental Congress, which claims to lack the funds. This winter, however, privation entered an entirely new dimension with multiple sources coming forward to paint a picture of truly bleak circumstances.

The regiment arrived at Valley Forge knowing their only shelter would be ones in which they themselves constructed. Harvesting timber from miles away, the undernourished troops hauled the logs back to the camp to construct rustic cabins that did little more than protect them from the elements.

Healthy soldiers would have found such conditions difficult. The soldiers in this encampment, however, were far from healthy. Lack of food was a continual issue; the soldiers’ primary staple were “firecakes,” which is a tasteless mixture of flour and water. Food from the surrounding farms was sparse, as the farmers were far more eager to sell to the British regiments, knowing they would get a good price for their crops, as opposed to being paid in Continental dollars, which are known to hold far less value. That is if the Congress issued any funds at all. And unlike the British, Gen. Washington was adamantly opposed to his troops simply taking what they needed from farms in the area.

In addition to being malnourished, a large percentage of the troops had shockingly little clothing. Only one in four had shoes, and many had no coats or blankets. It was not uncommon to see men with pants in tatters or clothes in the process of rotting off of their bodies. Many were prevented from doing their duties due to their nakedness, being embarrassed to be seen with so little clothing.

Connecticut soldier James Martin shared his experience as he began the winter:

The army was now not only starved but naked; the greatest part were not only shirtless and barefoot, but destitute of all other clothing, especially blankets. I procured a small piece of raw cowhide and made myself a pair of moccasins, which kept my feet, while they lasted, from the frozen ground, although, as I well remember, the hard edges so galled my ankles while on a march that it was with much difficulty and pain that I could wear them afterward. But the only alternative I had was to endure this inconvenience or go barefoot, as hundreds of my companions had to, till they might be tracked by their blood upon the rough, frozen ground.

Gen. Washington, while lamenting the deplorable conditions he and his soldiers were in, couldn’t help but praise them for the character they displayed under such circumstances:

No history now extant can furnish an instance of an army’s suffering such uncommon hardships as ours has done. To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blankets to lie on, without shoes (for the want of which their marches might be traced by the blood from their feet), and almost as often without provision as with them, marching through the frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their winter quarters within a day’s march from the enemy, without a house or hut to cover them till they could be built, and submitting to it without a murmur is proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce be paralleled.

Washington pleaded repeatedly with the Continental Congress for funds for his troops, but that availed him little. Additionally, America’s loosely coordinated national government places much of the responsibility for funding on the states, and many of them have not followed through on their agreement, claiming lack of funds themselves.

He was also forced repeatedly to seek provision from quartermaster general Thomas Mifflin, who was ineffectual. Circumstances grew to such a dire state that he demanded Gen. Nathanael Greene replace Mifflin, which Greene was hesitant to do, due to the enormity of the task. Once Greene was in place in March 1778, however, things began to improve for Washington and his men.

Of the 12,000 troops that entered Valley Forge in December 1777, an estimated 2,500 died of starvation, disease, malnutrition, or exposure by the spring.

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American forces employ controversial tactics in shocking victory over British at Saratoga

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

SARATOGA, NEW YORK (OCTOBER 17, 1777) — Rebel forces lead by Gen. Horatio Gates dealt a shocking blow to the British at the battles at Saratoga, New York. The redcoats led by Gen. John Burgoyne were horrified at the guerrilla tactics employed by the Americans, who are accused of targeted military officers with sharpshooters.

Gen. Burgoyne’s plan was to march the 170 miles with his 8,000 troops from loyalist Canada and meet with the rest of the British army to cut off New England from the rest of the colonies. Rebel forces significantly slowed the march down by taking aim at the Native American guides that had aligned themselves with the British to defeat the patriots.

The first battle at Saratoga was a pyrrhic victory for the British, who advanced on a rebel encampment at Freeman’s Farm at the cost of significant casualties. Burgoyne sent troops in three columns, but Gates’ field commander Benedict Arnold sensed that the patriots would have a better advantage if they met the British in the woods rather than wait to defend their position.

Gates disagreed but after a heated argument that delayed the counterattack for hours, he relented.

Arnold was right — the woods provided the scrappy rebel sharpshooters the cover they needed to strike down the officers, a tactic that horrified the British as being against the rules of standard conduct of war. The British suffered nearly 600 casualties while the rebels only lost 300.

Although many credited Arnold for a considerable portion of the damage inflicted on the British, Gates has removed him as his second-in-command over their many personal disputes.

At the second battle of Saratoga on Oct. 7, Gates won a decisive victory at Bemis Heights despite having fewer troops than Burgoyne. Halfway through the battle, Arnold rode out to lead the troops and showed exemplary bravery that greatly aided the patriots’ chances. He suffered a broken leg after being shot during the struggle.

Ten days later on Oct. 17, Burgoyne surrendered to Gates.

“We are sorry to say that Government have received the melancholy accounts that General Burgoyne and his army have been obliged to surrender themselves prisoners of war,” reported
the Edinburgh Evening Courant.

“After the Provincials had cut off General Burgoyne’s supplies,” the report continued, “part of his army fell back to secure their retreat to Ticonderoga & the Provincials, on this, surrounded General Burgoyne and the remainder.”

“The provincials at first offered them quarter on their laying down their arms & gave them a quarter of an hour to consider of it, but General Burgoyne treated it with contempt & sent for answer that unless they would agreed to give them free passage to England & warranting their safety to their next place for embarkation they would die man by man before they parted with their arms,” it continued. “The provincials soon complied with those conditions.”

Burgoyne, who is also known as “Gentleman Johnny,” lost about 1,000 men in the battles, while the Americans lost only about 500.

Arnold, despite earning a reputation for bravery to the point of recklessness in combat, had previously threatened to abandon the American cause and fight for the British after having his command taken away from him at Ticonderoga.

Various anonymous sources say the shocking upset at Saratoga is causing the Spanish to reconsider joining the French fight against the British. This would be a great boon to the patriots and possibly turn the tide against the British.

Sources:, Wikipedia, Rare Newspapers, the History Channel.

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In crucial turning point, Washington and troops claim victory in two battles near Trenton

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (JANUARY 3, 1777) — In an astonishing turn of events, the Continental Army, led by Gen. George Washington, has scored a much-needed victory in its fight for independence from the British crown. Multiple crushing defeats thus far in the Revolution has left the Continental Army’s morale low, leading Washington to wonder how many of his troops might desert him, or not re-enlist.

Washington, aware that he needed a win, finally claimed victory on the morning of Dec. 26, 1776, in Trenton, New Jersey. The victory, along with the rest of the events that have unfolded during the last week have provided a much-needed boost to American soldiers’ morale and has renewed their confidence that they can defeat the British in the ongoing war for American independence.

On Dec. 26, Washington decided to take advantage of the fact that the Hessians, the German troops whom the British hired to help fight against the Continental Army, were up late Christmas night celebrating.

Washington and his troops camped on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Outside, it was cold and snowy, and the river was covered with ice. But none of that stopped Washington and his 2,400 determined troops, who nevertheless set out to cross the icy river in blizzard conditions.

In an early morning raid on Hessian camps in Trenton, Washington and his troops fought for around one hour. They managed to capture more than 800 Hessian troops, and seized a considerable amount of their weapons, from musket and bayonets to swords and cannons, according to Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.

American patriots hope that the Continental Army’s morale-boosting victory in the First Battle of Trenton will be a critical turning point in the American Revolution.

According to reports, 22 British soldiers died in the First Battle of Trenton. Another 92 were wounded, 918 were captured and 400 escaped. The Continental Army, however, only lost two of its soldiers but only because they froze to death. Another five Americans were injured.

After their victory, Washington led his exhausted troops across the Delaware River back into Pennsylvania. But Washington still had his sights set on the next target, Princeton, New Jersey, where more British-allied forces had set up camp for the winter.

About a week later, on Jan. 2, 1777, Gen. Charles Cornwallis led his British troops from Princeton to Trenton to launch an attack. Washington directed a number of his troops to stave off an attack by blocking a bridge across the Assunpink Creek, according to sources in New Jersey.

Eventually, British troops decided to postpone their next attack until morning. Meanwhile, Washington, in his military genius, had another plan.

Washington instructed around 400 of his troops to stay at Trenton and keep the fires burning to trick the British into thinking they weren’t on the move. But Washington sent the rest of his troops to travel on back roads to launch yet another surprise attack on the British, this time at Princeton.

The latter group, led by Gen. Hugh Mercer, met British troops at Stony Brook Bridge and thus commenced the Second Battle of Trenton.

The fight didn’t start off well for the Continental Army. Washington and other reinforcements arrived, but the Continental Army still struggled. Then, in a show of admirable leadership, Washington rallied his discouraged troops who, at that point, were ready to retreat.

The American general rode up on horseback and blocked his men from leaving, creating a renewed sense of determination among his soldiers. Washington’s encouragement later paid off, as some British troops retreated to Princeton and others to Trenton. Since most went to Princeton, though, Washington and the rest of his army followed.

The British eventually surrendered at Princeton after being surrounded by American troops at Nassau Hall. More than 80 British soldiers were either killed or injured.

Forty American soldiers died or were wounded, according to the state of New Jersey.

In the coming weeks, Washington and his troops are expected to continue to march on British and British-allied soldiers in the fight for independence from Great Britain.

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British forces capture New York; Washington lucky to escape with Continental Army intact

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

NEW YORK (AUGUST 31, 1776) — The first major battle since America officially declared its independence from Great Britain did not go well for the Continental Army, as American troops were driven from New York in headlong flight.

Worse, Gen. George Washington’s conduct in the war has some questioning his strategic ability, as many military experts say that only a series of extremely lucky missteps by the British Army allowed Washington — and the Continental Army with him — to escape the island intact.

The British invasion of New York has long been expected, ever since Gen. William Howe quit the city of Boston following a months-long siege by American forces. Since Howe’s flight, American military leadership has anticipated that Great Britain would order him to capture New York, as Britain has made no secret of its plans to win the war by choking off access to the vitally important Hudson River, which is often referred to as the “backbone” of the Mid-Atlantic colonies.

Gen. Washington prepared for the hammer’s blow by directing Gen. Charles Lee to prepare the city for battle. Lee devised a plan and erected a series of intricate defenses in the city, envisioning a guerrilla fight in which the British would be forced to take New York “street by street,” hopefully suffering tremendous casualties during the course of the battle.

However, when New York’s civilian authority learned of this plan, they balked in horror at the possible devastation that might be done to the city by the British war machine if Lee’s plan were carried out. Due to confusion about the extent of Washington’s authority, Washington felt forced to abandon Lee’s plan in favor of a more traditional defense.

According to sources within the Continental Army, some of Washington’s officers felt hamstrung by Washington’s decision to allow Lee’s defenses to be dismantled. According to one Army officer, who asked to remain anonymous, “We never really stood a chance of holding New York, but with those defenses, we at least had a chance to give the British a bloody nose. Without those defenses? We were sitting ducks out there.”

Indeed, the chances of a traditional defense were doomed when the British ships, Phoenix and Rose
, easily overcame the Continental’s river defenses and took control of the harbor virtually unopposed. This allowed the British fleet, numbering some 130 ships, to land aground a force that was many times over the size of Washington’s.

In retrospect, Washington was doomed to lose the battle of New York before the first shot was fired; however, some claim that mistakes made by Washington put the Continental Army in position to suffer much heavier losses than they otherwise would have done, and almost caused them to be obliterated entirely.

First, some sources within the military criticized Washington’s decision to send home some 900 cavalrymen from Connecticut who arrived to participate in the defense, telling them that they would not be needed. According to one Continental Army officer, who asked not to be identified, Washington’s failure to understand the scouting value of this cavalry force allowed the British to achieve complete surprise and completely flank Gen. Israel Putnam, whom some in Congress have blamed for the Army’s failure in New York.

Some officers, however, have noted that Putnam was flanked because he was totally unaware that the British had landed some 10,000 soldiers on Long Island, who marched unnoticed for miles up roads unoccupied by Americans. According to this officer, “those troops had to have been kicking up an awful lot of dust and making a ton of noise, and some troops on horseback would have really allowed us to at least know they were coming.”

As it was, the main force of the British invading army was able to get completely to the rear of Putnam’s forces before Americans were aware, and the result was predictable: Total carnage, combined with chaos and headlong flight. In the first day of fighting, the Continental Army lost around 1,300 men; almost 15 percent of the entire force on Long Island.

Others criticized Washington’s decision to split his forces in the face of a numerically superior foe, attempting to defend both Manhattan and Long Island, albeit inadequately.

Although many would have taken advantage of Gen. Howe’s curiously slow pace after his initial rout of Putnam’s forces on Long Island to quit the defense of the island entirely, Gen. Washington ignored the advice of many on his staff and actually committed reinforcements to Brooklyn, determined to make a show of defending a by-now indefensible position.

Eventually, however, Washington was faced with the reality that his men on Long Island were completely encircled by the Royal Navy and vastly outnumbered, and after a council with his top generals, ordered an attempt to evacuate the remaining troops from Long Island.

The army ultimately may have been saved by a blustering storm that immobilized the Royal Navy and allowed Washington to assemble a rag-tag team of small craft to evacuate his troops to Manhattan under cover of the storm and an extremely dense fog that limited visibility to mere feet.

Although Washington publicly acknowledged the urgent need to leave New York lest the Continental Army be “cut to pieces,” sources within the Army said that Washington was obsessed with scoring a “Bunker Hill” style victory of his own, and thus prepared to attempt an ill-advised defense of Harlem Heights. According to sources in the army, Washington only abandoned this surely suicidal plan when Gen. Charles Lee arrived in New York and delivered a dire warning concerning the probable fruits of Washington’s proposed plan.

At the very last minute, the Continental Army fled Manhattan, saved by the incredible bravery of Col. John Glover and his Massachusetts soldiers, who fought a desperate action around Pelham Bay to delay the British attack so that the Continentals could achieve a semi-orderly retreat and preserve precious artillery and weaponry, which are already in short supply for the Americans.

Washington was also accused of defying Congress’ orders during his retreat from the city. According to congressional sources, Washington sought permission to destroy the city of New York upon his exit, so as to deny its comforts to British soldiers, but Congress refused to acquiesce. However, according to witnesses, fires that destroyed substantial portions of the city were set by men who were known members of the Continental Army.

For his part, Washington has refused to join in the public condemnation of Putnam, and promises that he will avoid risking the fate of the entire Continental Army in a single skirmish with the British in the future.

Americans hope that the lessons Washington has learned in this battle will serve him well as America settles in for what it looks like might be a long war for independence.

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‘Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown’: Congress declares American independence

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

PHILADELPHIA (JULY 4, 1776) — Two days ago, the Continental Congress, assembled in Philadelphia, voted to declare that the 13 British colonies of America are “Free and Independent,” establishing at once the “united States of America” as a separate nation entirely.

“We … the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do,”
Congress announced.

On July 4, delegates of the 13 colonies adopted the “Declaration,” formally severing the colonies from the authority of king of England. This momentous declaration will doubtless serve to escalate the military conflict between Britain and her colonies. Sources close to Congressional leaders indicate that the formal declaration was considered necessary to enlist the aid of the French army, which the colonists consider necessary to winning any military conflict with Britain.

Relying on the “self-evident” truths that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,” the members of Congress firmly proclaimed the right of the American people to self-governance and listed a number of “repeated injuries and usurpations” imposed on the colonies by the British crown.

Among those grievances listed are the king’s failure to allow the colonists — despite having been full citizens of England — to have adequate representation; the king’s decision to repeatedly close the colonies’ legislative bodies for choosing with “manly firmness” to reject “his invasions on the rights of the people”; quartering British soldiers in American homes; unjustly “imposing Taxes … without our Consent”; “cutting off … Trade with all parts of the world”; and for waging war against his own people.

Despite its clear declaration of independence from the British kingdom, Congress insisted it has not desired such extreme action, but that it has become necessary because of the unrelenting “Oppressions” of the crown.

“In every stage of these Oppressions,” Congress wrote, “We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

TheBlaze has learned on July 8, Gen. George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, learned of the “Declaration” in a letter from Congress President John Hancock.

“That our affairs may take a more favorable turn, the Congress have judged it necessary to dissolve the connection between Great Britain and the American colonies, and to declare them free and independent states; as you will perceive by the enclosed Declaration, which I am directed to transmit to you, and to request you will have it proclaimed at the head of the army in the way you shall think it most proper,” Hancock reportedly wrote to Washington.

Where these “united States of America” go from here is greatly in dispute, with most European leaders speculating the rebellion will soon be crushed by the British, who have since won a series of important battles against the American forces. However, regardless of how this chapter in history ends, the leaders of the world’s newest nation have made it clear where they have placed their trust: in God and each other.

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor,” congressional members wrote.

The full text of the “Declaration of Independence” appears below:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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British forces capture Bunker Hill but suffer heavy casualties

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (JUNE 17, 1775) — British regulars captured a key strategic point in the ongoing siege of Boston today, but suffered staggering losses in the process, leading some to question the leadership of Gens. Thomas Gage and William Howe, as well as Britain’s assumed military supremacy in the American colonies.

Last night, some 1,200 American troops, operating under the command of Col. William Prescott, stealthily snuck into Charlestown and dug in on both Bunker Hill and adjacent Breed’s Hill. Sources in the American army indicate that Prescott may have disobeyed orders from Gen. Artemis Ward, who ordered Prescott to occupy only Bunker Hill, which would present a fortified and easily defensible position from which to continue the siege. However, for reasons yet unclear, Prescott also undertook to fortify Breed’s Hill farther to the southeast.

From Breed’s Hill, American artillery was suddenly within range of both the Mystic River and also Boston Harbor, which meant that the American presence there presented an untenable threat to the British forces’ supply lines. Accordingly, Gen. Gage promptly ordered that Breed’s Hill be retaken at all costs and that the American forces be driven from Charlestown neck. Gen. Howe was given a force of about 2,300 British regulars with orders to eliminate the American threat.

Howe marched his men through the streets of Boston to the Charles River, where they boarded barges to carry them across. They reached the site of their attack point around 3 p.m., accompanied by a naval bombardment from the Royal Navy, and began to march in formation the 2,000 yards up the hill to meet his waiting foe.

The American forces, which had been reinforced on orders from the reportedly furious Gen. Ward, were still hazardously low on ammunition. As such, other than isolated sniper fire, the Americans held their fire until British soldiers were less than 50 yards away, at which point they unleashed a murderous fusillade of bullets into the redcoats’ ranks. The close-range fire was so effective that Howe was forced to halt his advance and spend the better part of half an hour regrouping his men for a second charge up the hill.

Again, Americans held fire, this time until the British were even closer, and the results the second time were no less devastating. One British soldier described this second volley of fire as “a continual sheet of lightning.” Again General Howe was forced to fall back.

Reports indicate that at this point, Howe’s men began to beg with him not to attempt a third assault on the fortified position. Every member of Howe’s staff was dead or wounded at this point, and British soldiers have accused the Americans of deliberately targeting officers during the charge. Howe, though, was insistent that the hill must be taken, so he summoned reinforcements for a third charge.

According to reports, the American ammunition situation was so dire at this point that Col. Prescott ordered his men to hold their fire “until you can see the whites of their eyes.” This time, the British were allowed to get within 15 yards of the summit before the Americans opened fire. Again, the results were murderous, and British regulars gained the Hill only when Americans ran out of ammunition and were forced to flee. Many were bayoneted or shot by the British out of hand as they fled.

Ultimately, the British removed the American threat from Breed’s Hill, but paid heavily for their strategic victory. According to official British reports, 226 British regulars died and an additional 928 were wounded. Americans, on the other hand, suffered 160 dead and 271 wounded in this day’s fighting.

Although Gen. Gage issued a proclamation of victory, he also was heard to exclaim to his staff that the Americans “shew a spirit and conduct against us, they never shewed against the French,” reflecting his country’s poor opinion of American battle prowess in the French-Indian War.

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American militiamen force British troops to retreat from Concord

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (APRIL 20, 1775) — American militiamen, after a brief retreat from a small skirmish in Lexington resulting in several dead, have pushed British redcoats out of Concord, giving colonists a victory in what may be the first of many military battles between Britain and defiant American colonists.

In a sequence of events that began late night on April 18, 1775, a plan by British Gen. Thomas Gage to capture American leaders and munitions was foiled when American volunteers were warned of an oncoming attack by British regulars in the town of Concord after British troops exchanged fire at Lexington, Massachusetts, with American patriots.

According to anonymous sources, Gage’s plan was to furtively move British regulars to first capture Colonial leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock in the town of Lexington, then advance to Concord where the British planned to seize American stockpiles of gunpowder. Thanks to the efficiency and skill of American intelligence, American forces were forewarned of Gage and his plan. British regulars were slowed by American “minutemen” — American militiamen ready to react at a moment’s notice — at Lexington and along the route.

American silversmith and spy Paul Revere revealed that he had received word that British forces, led by British Maj. John Pitcairn, were to advance on Lexington to capture Adams and Hancock. Revere, 41, set up a warning system with North Church’s Robert Newman that involved displaying one lantern from the church’s steeple in the British were planning to advance from land, and two lanterns if by sea.

Sources say that Newman had displayed two around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, leading Revere and two other riders, tanner William Dawes, and Dr. Samuel Prescott to sprint across the countryside, warning colonists of the oncoming British forces from Boston.

Thanks to the early warning, Adams and Hancock were able to escape from Lexington. Their whereabouts are currently unknown.

Instead of marching into the town unimpeded, witnesses say that on early Wednesday morning, April 19, Pitcairn found himself and his 240 troops face to face with 80 American militiamen under the command of Capt. John Parker in the town of Lexington. Reports from eyewitnesses say that for some time, American and British troops faced each other at the ready, but did not fire.

Conflicting reports describe how the battle began, but according to both sides a shot was heard that started a brief skirmish between the minutemen.

“At 5 o’clock we arrived [in Lexington], and saw a number of people, I believe between 200 and 300, formed in a common in the middle of town; we still continued advancing, keeping prepared against an attack though without intending to attack them; but on our coming near them, they fired on us two shots, upon which our men without any orders, rushed upon them, fired and put them to flight; several of them were killed; we could not tell how many, because they were behind walls and into the woods,” said British Lt. John Barker.

Militiaman Cpl. John Munroe remembers it differently, however.

“After the first fire of the regulars, I thought, and so stated to Ebenezer Munroe … who stood next to me on the left, that they had fired nothing but powder; but on the second firing, Munroe stated they had fired something more than powder, for he had received a wound in his arm; and now, said he, to use his own words, ‘I’ll give them the guts of my gun.’,” Munroe said. “We then both took aim at the main body of British troops the smoke preventing our seeing anything but the heads of some of their horses and discharged our pieces.”

This is the first exchange of gunfire between American and British forces during the rising tensions between the mother country and the American colonists. According to reports, eight Lexington men were killed, and 10 were wounded. Only one British soldier was wounded.

After some difficulty, Pitcairn was able to reassemble his men and march on Concord. Reports say that the British entered the town with little difficulty and began searching for the hidden American munitions. Due to good intelligence and forewarning, however, the American militia were able to hide away a good deal of their munitions, meaning that the British were not unable to find much.

Meanwhile, Concord militiamen gathered just outside of Concord and their strength further increased as volunteers from the neighboring towns rallied around militiaman Col. John Barrett on Punkatasset Hill overlooking Concord.

Witnesses say that once Barrett’s forces had reached sufficient strength — over 1,000 men according to reports — he led American militiamen into Concord over the North Bridge, overwhelming the redcoats and forcing their retreat from Concord, and back to Boston. American militiamen reportedly shadowed British troops during their retreat, killing some 125 redcoats, including officers. During the course of the retreat, American forces continued to swell as militia from neighboring towns continued to join the rebel ranks.

By the time the British retreat neared Charlestown, the American militia substantially outnumbered the British regulars and might have completely obliterated the British force. However, American Col. Timothy Pickering, who had assumed command of a large militia force from Salem and Marblehead, allowed the British to escape to defensible positions in Charlestown, where they were reinforced by Gen. Gage.

Col. Pickering alleges that he allowed the British to escape on the orders of Gen. William Heath, a charge that Gen. Heath denies. At present, Gen. Heath has been relieved by Gen. Artemas Ward, who has placed the British forces in Boston under an effective siege.

Militiamen say that while a battle was not intended in Lexington, their victory in Concord has them energized and ready to take on the British forces in the future.

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Britain passes the Coercive Acts; they should be called the Intolerable Acts

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

LONDON (1774) — In response to the activities of Dec. 16, 1773, the British Parliament has passed a series of punitive acts to be revoked only upon the compensation of the East India Company for goods that were allegedly irreparably damaged by American colonists.

The harsh legislation began after a group calling themselves the Sons of Liberty deposited nearly 350 crates of tea into Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act. The legislation closed the port of Boston, appointed a new military government under Gen. Thomas Gage, and rendered British soldiers immune from prosecution for criminal violations.

In keeping with the Boston Port Act, the British Navy plans to establish a blockade of Massachusetts Bay until the town’s unruly residents agree to pay for the tea that was dumped into Boston Harbor in protest. The Massachusetts Government Act has likewise established martial law and curbed the rights of rebellious colonists to gather into groups.

The so-called Administration of Justice Act, passed on May 20, was the final blow in a succession of punishments meted out to the province of Massachusetts, which has been the focal point of American hostility toward the mother country. It renewed the ability British troops exercised under the expired Quartering Act to take residence in unoccupied buildings at the will of the colonial governor.

Parliament continues debate on the Quebec Act, which would allow the French of that region to be governed by the Roman Catholic church and extend its territory into colonial western claims. Under this act, colonists in Boston and the Massachusetts Bay area would not be permitted to govern themselves, and would be cut off from their own independent trade by the British Navy, forcing them to rely on surrounding colonies for food and supplies.

The Quebec Act would punish the citizens of Massachusetts by allowing the French of Quebec to be subject to their own civil laws while Massachusetts would remain under the firm grip of the British Parliament.

Meanwhile, Boston merchants will soon be unable to trade goods because the British will occupy the harbor. Parliament still expects the East India Company to be repaid in full.

A small minority in Parliament, led by Edmund Burke, has begun to speak out against Parliament’s treatment of the colonies. In a recent speech, Burke claimed that these Coercive Acts would make British rule intolerable to the American colonies, and might lead to future military conflict and war.

Burke warned that colonists outside of Massachusetts might sympathize with their plight and would likewise fear that Britain would soon intend to meddle in their affairs in a similar manner. Burke offered an impassioned speech in Parliament in favor of a motion to repeal the Tea Tax outright, but the motion was easily defeated in spite of Burke’s protests.

It has been suggested in a variety of writings that an inter-colonial conference of some kind be convened to discuss the implications of Parliament’s actions for all of the American colonies. One may take place as early as this autumn, though some colonies as yet remain mostly uninterested.

(Sources:, Encyclopedia Britannica, U.S. History Scene)

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Patriots storm ships in Boston Harbor, hurl tens of thousands of pounds of expensive tea overboard

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (DECEMBER 16, 1773) — A group of local colonists upset with British Parliament’s controversial Tea Act took matters into their own hands tonight and dumped hundreds of chests of East India Company tea into Boston Harbor.

More than 100 men, many disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded three ships at Griffin’s Wharf this cold December evening and in the course of three hours tossed nearly 350 crates containing 90,000 pounds of tea overboard. The financial damages are expected to approach 10,000 British pounds.

According to local sources, the men are members of a secretive group known as the Sons of Liberty and were acting at the urging of one of their most-provocative leaders, Samuel Adams. Adams and his group have rallied against multiple attempts by Great Britain to impose taxes and regulations on colonists who have no government representation in London.

The Tea Act, which passed in May, was simply another move by British rulers to assert increased sovereignty over the colonists through taxation, the Sons of Liberty and other opponents of the measure said. Parliament’s goal, they added, was to prop up the failing government-backed East India Company.

The EIC has long had a government-instituted monopoly on tea in England, where the company has, until recently, been required to sell all of its tea. The high British duties on tea that the EIC has been forced to pay — coupled with a dire famine in India and a booming black market for cheaper tea in the colonies — have led to crashing tea sales and massive financial losses for the company.

English merchants have for decades turned around sold the tea to the American colonies, where a second duty is then collected.

Leaders of the EIC convinced Parliament this spring to pass the Tea Act, which allowed the company, for the first time in its history, to sell tea on consignment directly to a preferred set of sellers in the American colonies’ four most populous ports — New York, Philadelphia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Boston.

The act gave the East India Company a monopoly on tea sales in America and offered refunds to the EIC for tea duties paid in England. However, the duties in the colonies remained untouched. By cutting out the middlemen and allowing for at least some duty relief in England, the EIC was set to undercut tea prices in America.

But the law didn’t impact only the illegal tea-smuggling business.

Local merchants who have long imported EIC tea from England and were not granted the opportunity to buy directly from the EIC have reported that they, too, have seen tea sales plummet. Some of these businessmen fear that the efforts by Parliament to save the favored trading company will force them to close up shop.

The impact on local businesses and the belief that the British crown has once again trampled the rights of colonists who have no voice in the government have led to a movement up and down the East Coast to keep EIC tea off American shores.

Earlier reports from the three other cities where consignees were scheduled to receive EIC tea revealed just how significant the movement to stop the shipments really was. The preferred, government-approved local sellers at all three ports resigned their consignment agreements in early December as addition tea shipments arrived. In New York and Philadelphia, the EIC tea ships were forced to return to England with their cargo. And in Charleston, the tea was taken by local authorities.

But even as people in other colonies banded together to convince their colonial governors to abandon the Tea Act scheme and worked with American ship owners and their captains to avoid destruction of property, the authorities in Massachusetts have been slow to bend. Loyalist Gov. Thomas Hutchinson, whose sons received preferred-seller status from the EIC, repeatedly stated that the American-owned tea ships would be permitted to dock and the tea unloaded.

However, Adams and his fellow Sons of Liberty made it clear to Hutchinson that they would not be backing down any time soon, going so far as to station guards at the port over the last several days to prevent the tea from being removed from the ships.

According to witnesses, anti-Tea Act Patriots left a meeting with Adams earlier today, made their way to Boston Harbor, and boarded the vessels without permission. The activists then proceeded to toss the EIC tea into the sea water, making clear all the while that they would no longer stand for British curtailment of colonists’ rights.

Sources in England say that even Britons and members of Parliament who are sympathetic to colonists’ complaints see this event as a bridge too far and expect that the action will force the British government to retaliate.

Hutchinson has long urged London to crack down on the Sons of Liberty. Observers now expect that the governor might just get his wish.

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‘Boston Massacre’ leaves five dead, questions remain

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (MARCH 6, 1770) — Five people are dead and six more wounded after a tense confrontation yesterday at the Custom House between British soldiers and residents in Boston.

Several years of ongoing tension between Boston residents and British troops stationed in the area boiled over after Pvt. Hugh White allegedly struck Boston man Edward Garrick on the side of the head with his musket. Garrick had reportedly been shouting a slew of insults at White and another soldier stationed at the Custom House.

According to witnesses, Garrick then rallied other residents in the area to push back against the soldiers, who were stationed there to maintain order in the area after the passing of the Townshend Acts. As the crowd size reportedly neared 50 and tensions escalated, White called for backup from the nearby barracks.

Capt. Thomas Preston arrived on scene shortly after, accompanied by six other soldiers of the 29th Regiment of Foot, all armed with fixed bayonets. Reports then indicate that the raucous crowd surrounding the soldiers, which grew up to 400 men, began throwing snowballs and ice at the troop of soldiers.

“Come on you rascals, you bloody backs, you lobster scoundrels, fire if you dare, G** damn you, fire and be damned, we know you dare not,” one unidentified Boston man allegedly said to the soldiers.

“Fire and be damned,” others in the crowd allegedly chanted at the soldiers.

According to authorities, although Preston gave no command for his troops to fire, an altercation between Pvt. Hugh Montgomery and an angry resident led to Montgomery discharging his weapon, but some conflicting reports indicate Montgomery’s weapon went off as he was knocked to the ground. Though Preston told authorities he never told his men to fire, others could be heard yelling “fire” into the crowd as the soldiers shot at the angry mob.

Five men died in the altercation, including Crispus Attucks, a former runaway slave. Six others were treated for their injuries and released.

Preston and eight other soldiers were arrested on the scene and charged with manslaughter. A trial date for the soldiers has not yet been set.

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American colonists unsettled by British Parliament’s far-reaching Stamp Act tax

Editor’s note: In order to allow our staff to enjoy the 4th of July holiday with their families, TheBlaze will be running a series of articles today commemorating the Revolutionary War, which won America her freedom. God bless America, and all of you.

BOSTON (MARCH 23, 1765) — The British government levied a new tax yesterday on the North American colonies in the wake of the territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War.

Parliament passed the Stamp Act without any debate. The act, proposed by Prime Minister George Grenville, a Whig, will impose a tax on all American colonists, requiring them to pay an additional fee for every piece of paper purchased.

The tax will apply to all ship’s papers, legal documents, licenses, newspapers, and other publications. Playing cards are subject to taxation, too.

This new policy is particularly noteworthy, given it is the first tax levied directly on American colonists by British lawmakers.

The purpose of the tax is twofold, according to Dr. Samuel Smith, chair of Liberty University’s history department. He told TheBlaze the tax is a show of force by Britain, reminding the colonies where the authority lies. In addition, it will help the motherland pay down the debt incurred during the Seven Years’ War, which lasted from 1756 to 1763.

“This stamp is a visible reminder of royal presence,” Smith said. “From the British perspective, it is a way to remind Americans who is in charge.”

He went on to predict the Stamp Act would evoke “a very emotional response.”

The new tax comes on the heels of the controversial Sugar Act, which was passed by the British Parliament just one year prior. The Sugar Act, a renewal of the Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733, added a three-penny import tax on refined sugar and molasses brought into the colonies from non-British sources, significantly shrinking the trade market for the colonists.

“Now, all of the sudden, Parliament is saying, ‘We virtually represent the colonies. Even though you didn’t vote for us, we virtually represent you because we’re the top-tier legislative body,'” Smith said.

Part of the money raised by the Stamp Act will also be used to maintain several regiments of British troops in North America — an effort to quell conflicts between the colonists and Native Americans.

Those who violate the Stamp Act, refusing the pay the fees associated with the policy, could be tried — and even convicted — without a jury of their peers in Britain’s vice-admiralty courts.

Many American colonists, though, do not believe Britain has authority over them, according to Smith, who noted the frustration brewing over the tax. Though they respect Parliament, the professor noted, the settlers are convinced British lawmakers “do not have jurisdiction to tax the colonists because the colonists had not voted for them.”

Colonists are becoming increasingly frustrated with Britain, and this latest tax isn’t improving the relationship. The North American settlers are frustrated not only with the added cost, but also with the fact that they are being taxed by a legislative body that does not represent them.

In response to the Stamp Act, some colonists are beginning to shun the British market, opting instead to create and sell products within their own colonies.

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Allie Beth Stuckey: The US and all we stand for are worth celebrating

With chaos raging in America’s most populous cities, it may feel counterintuitive to celebrate the 4th of July. But the attempts at destruction from which our nation is suffering is precisely why we should be honoring Independence Day more gratefully and fervently than ever.

There’s one thing on which all Americans can agree: Our country, like all countries, is imperfect. From slavery, Japanese internment camps, Jim Crow, questionable foreign policy, and abortion, it’s clear that America has gotten things grievously wrong at times — even at the cost to human life.

What many of us cannot seem to agree on is whether or not, because of the injustices America has perpetuated, she is still worthy of our celebration. Moreover, is she really the “City on a Hill,” the exceptional beacon of liberty, that she has been historically described as?

It’s the question that divides us. A 2019 Gallup poll found that only 22% of Democrats are “extremely proud” to be an American, compared to 76% of Republicans. A Pew Research study shows that only 12% of 18-29-year-olds believe the United States is the best country in the world, compared to 44% of Americans aged 65+.

If you ask a college professor at an elite university whether America is exceptional, their answer will probably be no. America, many academics assert, is an inherently evil, irrevocably failed country built upon violent imperialism and white supremacy. A student of such a professor may even go so far as to say that the United States is the primary source of all modern international discord.

But is that really true? Could the country that welcomes the most immigrants, has historically harbored the most refugees and asylum seekers, is the most generous, adopts the most orphans, provides the most foreign aid to countries in need than any other nation on Earth, and twice helped save the world from tyranny really be as immoral as its critics claim?

The simple answer is: no. Yes, the American experiment, like all experiments, was at first tried imperfectly. But the revolutionary ideals upon which we were founded — that all men were created equal and were endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights — were good, and they still are.

Despite what leftist revolutionaries assert, our failures haven’t occurred because of our founding, but in spite of it. When we ignore our foundational values, we allow injustice. But when we abide by them — that’s when the magnificent occurs.

That’s when men give their lives to end slavery. That’s when emancipation happens. That’s when we help save the world from Nazis and fascism. That’s when we help topple the walls of communism. That’s when the end of Jim Crow and desegregation happens. That’s when a country moves from segregated schools to black Americans serving as justices on the Supreme Court, as Cabinet members, and as congresspeople, and a black man winning a presidential election by a landslide two times in a little over 50 years.

It is in moving toward America’s good, timeless ideals that we have declared victories that have changed the world for the better. While virtually every other society in human history is riddled with a similar muddy past — bloody conquests, slavery, discrimination (all of which still exist to this day in much of the non-Western world) — no country has righted their wrongs or redeemed their past as quickly or as valiantly as we have.

This isn’t to minimize the gravity of our moral failures. It is to say that history is complicated, and its participants even more so, but the unique light that shines through the complexities of America’s fallible heroes and fragmented past is our relentless love for liberty, which has done more good for mankind than any earthly force in history.

There is, and always will be, progress to be made. As scholar John McWhorter writes, America is an ongoing rehearsal, and the more we rehearse, the better we get. Therefore it’s not a revolution that we need, but remembrance. Americans need to re-familiarize ourselves with the principles that have set our young nation apart for the entirety of our existence, and, perhaps even more importantly, teach them to our children.

In many ways, the madness we’re seeing in the streets is the tragic consequence of a failure of both parenting and education. Let this tenuous moment in our country’s history wake parents up to the urgent reality that we cannot trust institutions to teach our children morality, humility, kindness and appreciation for American liberty.

As patriot and President Ronald Reagan famously stated in his 1967 inaugural address as California’s governor: “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

May we have strength and wisdom to keep fighting for the values we hold dear, and may God bless America.

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Stu Burguiere: America is still the best

America is the greatest country on earth.

Until recently, this statement was essentially a jingoistic platitude. Maybe it was accurate, but it was so commonly repeated that it had become meaningless.

Yet, as we approach our Independence Day, it’s worth asking, is it true? Is it still true? Was it ever true?

To quote America’s cultural arbiter Colin Kaepernick about President Trump: “He always says ‘Make America Great Again.’ Well, America’s never been great for people of color. And that’s something that needs to be addressed. Let’s make America great for the first time.”

Kaepernick, who experienced a very nuanced type of oppression in which he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract to finish 38th of 39 qualifying quarterbacks in offensive rating according to Pro Football Focus, highlighted a common complaint about our nation’s history.

Certainly, our timeline is filled with many missteps, some of them disastrous violations of our own stated principles. It seems obvious to us now, that a country who believed all men were created equal, should not enslave an entire race. And while sensible arguments of context are valid and important for our understanding, the fundamental cruelty of slavery should have been obvious to everyone.

Of course, many of the founders did realize this and fought passionately against it, including even the much-maligned Thomas Jefferson. In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson criticized the King and slavery, accusing him of waging “cruel war against human nature itself” by carrying “distant people who never offended him” into “slavery in another hemisphere” where he was “determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold.”

The destruction of the existing institution of slavery was quite literally one of the original arguments for our country to exist.

Later, there were abolitionist heroes like Matthias Baldwin. Born soon after the constitution was ratified, he took an apprenticeship at the age of 16. He worked hard, innovated, and invented, and constructed an impressive resume. He built machines and locomotives.

He was an outspoken opponent of slavery, a fact that was used against him by his competitors in business. He didn’t care. He co-founded the Franklin Institute, named after Ben Franklin, also an abolitionist. He took the money he made in business and opened up a school to educate African-Americans in Philadelphia, and paid the teachers out of his own pocket.

His statue, erected in the same city he built the school, was recently defaced by protesters who spray painted the words “colonizer” and “murderer” on its base.

One of the reasons America is great is because our foundation was essentially an All-Star team. It’s made up of all the most ambitious people from around the world. These are men and women who had the guts to leave everything they ever knew, get on a boat that might just sail off the edge of the earth, and try to set up a life in a giant, empty field. They wanted a shot at freedom so badly, they risked everything on a bet that should never have paid off. And when things weren’t going the right way, they declared independence and went to war over it.

Of course, while the talent level of an All-Star squad is high, it’s not always easy for all of those big personalities to form a cohesive team. We don’t always play nicely together. There are some selfish players. Sometimes, there are fights at practice. We’ve seen this a lot lately. But no one is arguing that America is a perfect country. Just that it’s better than everyone else. We have had intense struggles, but where else would you rather be?

We still have our problems, some growing right in front of our faces, and others shrinking without our notice. But yes. This is America. The greatest country on earth.

On this Independence Day weekend, take a minute to realize it.