It Was Originally Going to Be the Second of July!

july-2nd-american Independence

It Was Originally Going to Be the Second of July!

John Adams’ Original Vision for Independence Day

As we head toward our big midsummer celebration, remember that if John Adams had been right, you’d be celebrating two days earlier! On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress legally separated itself from Great Britain. President-to-be John Adams wrote to his wife that the “second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America.

Celebrating the Fourth: A Shift in Historical Dates

Well, he was off by a couple of days, since the holiday we now have celebrates the date when that same Continental Congress approved the final wording for the Declaration of Independence (sort of the explanation for why the colonies separated themselves), famously composed by Thomas Jefferson, but with some help from a committee (it was, after all, Congress!)

The Synchronicity of History

Some historians assert that the completion of the Declaration’s signing extended into early August, a month beyond its initial adoption. However, it’s possible that the visionary Founding Fathers anticipated that this date would eventually be too near to Labor Day. 50 years later, the two surviving Presidents who’d signed the Declaration — Adams and Jefferson — both passed on the same day: July 4, 1826.

The Financial Struggles of the Revolutionary War

By 1775, an estimated $12 million worth of gold existed in the colonies, a significant amount considering this was about 75 years before California’s Gold Rush. However, the cost of the war was estimated to be around $60 million, a staggering sum for that era.“Gold Rush”

International Support and Financial Challenges

Delays in the payment of soldiers’ salaries occurred, along with the requisition of goods to ensure operations continued. Concurrently, Congress issued two types of paper money, which rapidly became perceived as virtually worthless, sometimes fetching as little as a penny on the dollar. In addition to this, states were creating their own currencies. While bonds were issued, redeemable in 1791, many wealthy merchants who could afford them actually supported the Crown. However, France provided substantial assistance to the Americans by supplying gunpowder, arms, and money.

Celebrating Independence and Looking to the Future

It all eventually worked out, of course. So here’s hoping you have a joyous celebration of all that those French and Dutch loans made possible, replete with “games, bells, sports, bonfires” (well, watching fireworks, maybe?) and more! And of course, with credit a little easier to come by these days, be sure to get in touch with your AVPS rep after the holiday, so your customers can easily shop with you (instead of trying to figure out how to get a line of credit from Amsterdam!)