Yesterday for Americans, we had our Independence day. It’s the day we celebrate our nation and being a part of it, but it’s independence specifically from England. We’ve been split up now for about 200 years, yet the English impact was great upon us; we still celebrate taking the leap and becoming something new on our own.
Most of the colonists, however, didn’t want to become a new country. They were unhappy with the taxes, but they felt loyalty to King George. The slaves might have hoped for freedom under ‘America’ instead of ‘English colony’, but high were their hopes really? The slave trade was a part of our culture at that point, a disgusting practice that systematically destroyed generations and families. As we know too, even if they had hopes, slavery wasn’t abolished at the beginning of our country. The Native American tribes were mostly struggling to survive, destroyed, or oblivious to the colonists’ existence.
We like to think that everyone rebelled against England and that everyone was excited when England decided to give up. That’s not wholly the case. Most people were concerned. Who were we to form our own country? How does one go about doing that? There were still wars in Europe, would we get involved with those? For the persecuted minorities, would anything change?
Independence was terrifying. We set up the Articles of Confederation and they were horrible. So we tried again and set up our Constitution. Like America, we are all works in progress. We don’t deal with the problems we have very effectively at first. We ignore our major problems and come to compromises that we hate with ourselves. We want to be our own individual, but we’re uncertain at times of how to go about that. We still have loyalty to being the old person we decided not to be. However, we need to become who we were meant to be. We need to have high hopes for ourselves, even as we continue to fail to achieve them, because even the pursuit itself is important.