Thursday, April 16, 2015

Remembering the Start of a Revolution

A depiction of the battle at Concord
July 4th, 1776 is hands down the most famous day in American history; the day that the Continental Congress declared independence from their mother nation of Great Britain. However, the American Revolutionary War was already in full swing by the time independence had been declared. This Sunday, April 19th will mark the 240th year anniversary of the Battles of Lexington & Concord which marked the first engagement of troops between the British and the Colonists in the American Revolution. While remembering and celebrating the birthdate of our nation is of paramount importance to the patriotic American, as a keen lover of history, I find what leads up to the declaration of independence of equal importance.

On April 18th, the British soldiers in Boston were ordered to march to Concord, locate militia ammunition stores, and destroy them. Even before the United States had formed, the idea of being disarmed didn't sit well with the colonists, a sentiment that has echoed throughout history with mantras such as "Don't Tread on Me" and "Come & Take It". Militia gathered throughout the area to counteract the British, first by the dozens, then by the hundreds, by the next day thousands of militiamen had surrounded Boston after the battles of Lexington & Concord. The infamous “shot heard round the world” cannot be attributed to any one man, as accounts of where the first shot came from vary. Perhaps though, who fired the first shot is unimportant because the message of that shot was clear, the British Colonies in America were ready to be free.

It is often forgotten that many colonists opposed an open revolution and up until the battle of Lexington & Concord, many patriots and founding fathers felt that their grievances with British rule were more than a political disagreement with their parent nation. However, after the events of April 19th, 1775 it was evident that a diplomatic resolution was not likely and that the birth of a new nation was imminent.

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