What Are The Hot Dogs and Fire Works All About?
The Fourth of July is a big holiday. There will be 160 million people cooking out; we will consume more than 155 million hot dogs. More than $650 million will be spent on personal fire works with another $318 million spent on professional shows.
So, what are we celebrating on the Fourth of July? You’ve probably seen the videos of people unable to answer that question. An acceptable answer would be, “It’s our nation’s birthday” or “It’s Independence Day.”
How did our Independence Day come about? Given the conflicting backgrounds, ideologies, and aspirations of the people inhabiting the Thirteen Colonies of America in contrast to those of the Mother Country, there was destined to be an irrepressible conflict between the two in the latter half of the eighteenth century.
Since the founding of Jamestown in 1607, the colonists had gotten used to a system of self-government. Great Britain had followed the companion policies of the establishment of representative institutions in the colonies and benign neglect. After 1680, the elected assemblies won the right to initiate all legislation that governed the colonies. They controlled the purse strings, including determining the pay for judges and government office holders.
Britain embraced an economic system called mercantilism (sort of a mixture of fascism and crony capitalism of today). It had long been accepted that they had the right to impose restrictions on trade and manufacturing. But, the revenue from the tariffs hardly covered the costs of administrating them; and most of them were pretty much dead letters because of pervasive smuggling.
It generally was accepted, even by the British, that Parliament could not tax the colonists for revenue.
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