When is the birthday of the USA?
On July 2, Congress declared independence from England,
but it wasn't signed until July 4.
And it was done in the middle of the war!
Not at the begining or the end of the war.
The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was the battle the American's finished off the English. On October, 17 General Cornwallis offered surrender but the papers were not signed until October 19. So those dates could be said to be the birthday of the USA.
But it wasn't until Sept 3, 1783 that England signed the Paris Peace Treaty which Recognized not one American country but 13 separate American States so technically this is also the birthday of the USA.
Sept. 3 is our nation's true birthday
Sept. 3 is America's birthday. It is the day the United States of America was born.
This anniversary date comes from maybe the most important document ever written in United States history, but strangely one of the most obscure and least known documents, the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783.
Traditionally, the Declaration of Independence is held to be America's "birth certificate" and July 4 considered its birthday. Neither is exactly so.
The Declaration's own origins are interesting. It was neither the cause of, nor the result from, the Revolutionary War. It was written about 15 months after the war had started, to - in modern language - "legitimize" the war, to rally the disparate colonists to the ultimate war goal. It might also have been helpful in soliciting aid from a possible ally, France.
On July 2, 1776, Congress declared independence from England. John Adams said the date would go down in history. The slightly revised Declaration was adopted on the Fourth. Signatures were gathered later in August until the fall. The unstated caveat to the Declaration was always "We're independent . . . if we win the war."
So rather than the birth of a nation, July 2 or July 4 was rather the "conception" of a nation. A difficult pregnancy would last almost seven years.
If one searches in Google for "Declarations of Independence" you can also find 11 other "Declarations of Independence," one by each Confederate state as they seceded from the Union in 1861. Each is very similar to the 1776 version. But Declarations of Independence aren't worth much if you lose.
In October 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, Va., effectively ending hostilities. Two years later, the Revolutionary War officially ended, on Sept. 3, 1783, with the signing of the Paris Peace Treaty. The United Sates was born.
The treaty's Article One eloquently sums it up:
"His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be free sovereign and independent states, that he treats with them as such, and for himself, his heirs, and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."
Most of this quotation can be found inscribed on the national monument at Yorktown. It is worth a visit. The entire text of the treaty can be easily found on the Web. It is great history and ought to be known.
So on Sept. 3, Happy Birthday, U.S.A. - David Crook,Phoenix