This weekend is special for The United States because it marks the date when our founding fathers had enough of the bullshit coming from Great Britain and decided to do something about it. Contrary to popular belief (by most Americans), the Declaration of Independence was not signed on July 4, 1776, but rather it was adopted. Big difference there, and FYI the DoI was actually signed on August 2- at least by most delegates who were able put quill to paper.
By the time the DoI was adopted, we had already been at war with Great Britain for about a year. Our relationship with the monarchy took a nose dive during the Seven Years War (that started around 1750) and involved a bunch of countries banding together to fight against this fledgling colonization to claim right to the booty the continent had to offer. France pretty much lost most of its lands to Great Britain and after winning the war, GB started to tax the shit out of the colonies in North America in an effort to strengthen its war chest.
This didn't bode well for the colonists who believed they shouldn't fall under the jurisdiction of the parliament since they had no representation there. (I feel a quote coming on...) Hence the phrase: "No taxation without representation". To further show their disdain towards the King, and flap their fledgling democratic wings, some colonists dressed up as Indians and dumped boat loads of tea into Boston Harbor to show that it wasn't fair to tax the hell out of the incoming tea. This act gave way to the fanaticism Americans have towards their brewed drinks and to the premise of "A Starbucks on every corner".
Like an angry parent preparing to bitch slap a child for an obvious and deliberate act of definace, Great Britain prepared to teach these colonies a lesson in manners. The colonies said, "Bring it on bitch!" and had a tobacco farmer with a knack for writing and diplomacy to draft the Declaration of Independence to further show GB that we weren't fucking around anymore. This was the last straw, sort of like a white girl marrying a black rapper dude just to piss off her intolerant, bigoted father.
So that was it- the preamble to the Declaration of Independence was only 35 words long but it stirred the hearts of men , most whom formed the rabble of an untrained militia, to fight against the most powerful nation on earth. Thomas Jefferson, or "TJ" as he was known by the ho's in Philadelphia, did a pretty good job when he wrote this preamble:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
I challenge you to find 3 high school kids at random who can quote those words and I'll give you a million pesos.
If you ever have the opportunity to travel to the Nation's capitol, I would highly recommend visiting Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The walls are lined with the most patriotic and moving quotes I have ever read- aside from the "The way I see it" gems printed on the side of Starbucks cups.
In essence, July 4th marks the day that we flipped out first official bird to an oppressive body and we have been carrying on that way for the last 232 years. Our form of government is the best there is and our country has survived this long because Americans still have that hereditary gene passed down from our founding citizens. Somewhere in the twisted double-helix of our essence is a "Don't fuck with us" gene that allows the United States to endure, even though the founding fathers are probably rolling over in there graves at our own inflexibility and constant "I think what they meant in the Constitution was...".
But that is a post for another time. Happy 4th.