July 4th books: why US independence day isn’t celebrated by all

July 4th books: why US independence day isn’t celebrated by all

by Suswati Basu
0 comment

While July 4th is widely celebrated as Independence Day in the United States, it is not without controversy and there are plenty of books on why it isn’t marked by some. Here are a few reasons why July 4th can be seen as controversial:

Read more: Juneteenth books: 6 powerful reads on emancipation
  • Slavery. At the time of the American Revolution, slavery was still practiced in many parts of the United States. The Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed “all men are created equal” and asserted the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, did not apply to enslaved Africans and African Americans. This contradiction between the ideals of freedom and the reality of slavery has been a subject of debate and criticism.
  • Native American perspectives. The celebration of July 4th can also be contentious from the perspective of Native Americans. The colonisation and expansion of the United States resulted in the displacement, marginalisation, and mistreatment of Native American tribes. For many Native Americans, the holiday represents a painful reminder of the loss of their lands, cultures, and sovereignty.
  • Inclusivity and representation. Some argue that the traditional narratives and celebrations of July 4th often focus on the experiences and contributions of white Americans, while neglecting the diverse perspectives and histories of other racial and ethnic groups. Critics emphasise the need to acknowledge and include the stories of marginalised communities in order to paint a more complete and accurate picture of the nation’s history.
  • Imperialism and global perspective. Critics argue that the US’ founding as an independent nation was not purely a struggle for freedom but also part of a broader history of colonialism and imperialism. They highlight instances where the United States has been involved in conflicts and interventions abroad, often in pursuit of its own economic or geopolitical interests. These actions are seen as contradictory to the principles of freedom and self-determination that July 4th commemorates.

What is Fourth of July celebrated for?

July 4th is celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. It commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. This document proclaimed the American colonies' separation from British rule and established them as a new nation, the United States of America.

The American Revolution, which began in 1775, was a struggle for independence from British colonial rule. The colonists were unhappy with the policies of the British government, including taxation without representation and other perceived infringements on their rights. The Continental Congress, a gathering of representatives from the thirteen colonies, declared independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.

The signing of the Declaration of Independence by representatives from each colony marked a significant milestone in the fight for independence. It stated the fundamental principles upon which the new nation was founded, including the belief in individual rights, equality, and the consent of the governed.

Books that look at why July 4th isn’t celebrated by some:

These books offer insights into the controversies and raise questions about the celebration of July 4th:

As a result, the controversies surrounding the holiday reflect ongoing discussions and debates about the complex history and identity of the United States. Check out why accurate history is important – with These Bodies of Water author Sabrina Mahfouz.

Subscribe to my newsletter for new blog posts, recommendations & episodes. Let’s stay updated!

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
%d bloggers like this: