The Invention of the Fourth of July
What?! The Fourth of July was an invention? This interesting essay
explains the sixteenth century British tradition of making up celebrations to mark anniversaries of events in order to make political statements. This tradition carried over into many parts of British life, and was brought, part and parcel, to America with the colonists. The essayist describes how these “celebrations” were used to protest the Stamp Act, for instance, and how the fourth estate encouraged support for American independence from the British monarchy. This essay is part of Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s History by Era section. Registration, free for educators, is required.