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Happy Independence Day! On America’s 238th birthday, we’re celebrating by sharing a brief history of the good ol’ red, white and blue.

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Did you know that America’s fight for independence began with taxes? It’s true.

“Taxation without representation!” This catchy slogan was the chant of the thirteen colonies, and it captured their main grievance against Britain.

Since the colonists didn’t have direct representation in British Parliament, they believed Britain didn’t have a right to levy taxes onto the colonies.

In the colonists’ eyes, taxes like the Sugar Act and Stamp Act would only get worse and should be deemed illegal, a feeling that spurred on the American Revolution.

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So what actually happened on July 4th, 1776?

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The Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, was approved by Congress.

It proclaimed the thirteen colonies as newly independent sovereign states and indicted George III for imposing taxes on them without their consent. And as they say, the rest is history.

Philadelphia celebrated the holiday as early as 1777, with a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute, and fireworks.

But it would take Congress 94 years to officially sign the date into history – declaring July 4th Independence Day in 1870.

So raise your flag, fire up the grill, enjoy the warm weather, and thank the thirteen colonies for setting history into motion!