Some Americans are celebrating Independence Day. But many don’t even know who we wanted independence from or when it happened as this video shows: Fourth of July Zombies 2016 by Mark Dice. Try to watch it to the end.
Ugh, my fellow citizens! You’re worried about immigrants and don’t even know the basics of how your country came to be? Oh, and by the way, every last one of you who is not a member of a Native American tribe, Polynesian or Iñupiat, Yupik, Aleut, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and a number of Northern Athabaskan cultures, is a descendant of immigrants. And your ancestor was a person who was no different from today’s immigrants: running from religious persecution, war, famine, looking for better opportunities and/or prosperity. And some of your ancestors were also criminals sent over to rot in Georgia, also known as the prison colony. I like how at the end of the video the one lady basically sings the preamble to the Constitution because, you know, like me, Schoolhouse Rock never, ever leaves your head once you learn the songs. But sorry, my sister in SHR, that was the wrong song.
So just in case you need a refresher of America’s history, on July 4, 1776 we presented a document that declared our independence from Great Britain and established the 13 colonies as the United States of America. We call it The Declaration of Independence. The most famous part of this document is probably the opening:
The Declaration of Independence
“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.” (NOTE: A significant portion of our ancestors were denied these unalienable rights for a long, long time after this. Africans who were brought here as slave labor were denied all of these rights. Hence some Americans still don’t celebrate this as independence day. That’s where Juneteenth Day comes in.)
And then it gets really juicy. Because like the nation of whiners and list makers that we are we wrote a list detailing EVERYTHING the King of England did to screw us over in the most non-Twitter friendly way:
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 of 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 mean time 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 benefit 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. (NOTE: Yeah, our dear founding fathers weren’t exactly nice, nor politically correct when referencing the very people whose land they stole.)
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.
WOOOOO-SAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Our founders were pissed off to the highest level of pisstivity!
For those who didn’t bother to read all of that here’s the Cliff Notes version from Schoolhouse Rock:
Oh the irony of the black girl speaking the line “all men are created equal” because neither black people nor women had any of these rights at the time.
And, in short, here’s why there was a revolution to gain our independence from England. When you get tired of the King of England taxing your Tetley tea…! Okay, fine, there was more to it than just that.
And then we had a war.
And then representatives from the colonies met in Philly, not just for the cheesesteak, but to draft up and present the Declaration of Independence. And so now there is a United States of America and a 4th of July holiday to watch people gorge themselves on Nathan’s hot dogs, fools blow of various body parts mishandling fireworks, and lots of singing of patriotic songs at special events.
And now I want a hamburger, hot dog fresh off the grill, cole slaw, potato chips, potato salad and a Coca-Cola. Enjoy the fireworks and have a great holiday everyone!