The Daily Eastern News

Independence Day is more than an excuse to party

Jordan Boyer, Editor-in-Chief

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Scrolling through social media Wednesday (and basically every Fourth of July), I see a lot of posts from people that show them with drinks in their hands, at house parties, on a lake, at a bonfire, etc.

Now I enjoy partying, don’t get me wrong, but Independence Day is more than a good time with friends and family, and some people tend to forget that.

Independence Day, hence the name, is the day the colonies declared independence from the English monarchy on July 4, 1776. People nowadays, especially in the States, do not realize the significant impact imperialism has had on not just America, but the whole world.

Imperialism is a policy to extend a nation’s power through diplomacy and/or military force, resulting in an unequal relationship between two nations.

Well over 100 nations celebrate their own version of an Independence Day. That means that imperialism once reached into those many nations. That means they had to break away from the imperial powers that sought to exploit them.

America gained independence during what historians call old imperialism, while in what they call new imperialism, nations expanded their power in different ways.

During new imperialism, empires participated in the Scramble for Africa and split up countries in the Middle East and parts of Asia.

The point I am trying to make here is that, while the U.S. and many other nations can say they are independent and can govern themselves, other countries are not as fortunate as us independent nations.

American citizens really take for granted what we have here as a united nation under a democratic system.

People may bash President Donald Trump, spread conspiracy theories on 9/11 and complain about the socioeconomic system here in the States. Just remember, we can do all of these things because of that day in 1776, the war that followed, and later when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written granting our right to free speech.

In America it does not matter if you agree or disagree with what other people are saying, you have a constitutional right to say those things.

Not just that, but the Fourth of July is also a day to celebrate our soldiers who have and are serving in the branches of our military.

Those soldiers serve the country so we can still have the freedoms we have today. The many hardships they go through should be given more than just a passing thought as you pop open another beer or throw another hamburger on the grill.

So next Fourth of July when you make plans with your friends and family to drink and have a good time, take more than just a moment to remember why we are celebrating this day.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major, he can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]

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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
Independence Day is more than an excuse to party