The 4th of July 1776 marked a new chapter in the world’s history. Thirteen former colonies decided they were mature and responsible enough to look after their own and cut ties with their metropolis. What was then a frail state surviving on sheer enthusiasm, evolved to become the greatest nation ever, and the torchbearer of present-day progress.
Independence Day commemorates the adaptation of the Declaration of Independence, the birth certificate that confirmed once more the people’s right to self-government directed at their own interests. The emotional moment would have consumed itself if it were not for the Constitution of 1787. “We The People” made it clear whom the law is serving and on what premises the new country started its existence. Drafting the Constitution was an arduous process that required compromise and precise timing. The text echoed the Declaration of Independence while giving its ideals concrete coordinates. The symbiosis between the Federal Government and the States guaranteed by Article Four introduced a political model that proved its efficiency and nowadays reached perfection.
4th of July is the date when, besides celebrating, people also talk about the American Dream. As it often happens with abstract concepts, some say it also reached its saturation point, when people stopped sensing the momentum. The American Dream is not dead, and it will not crumble, as long as individuals will see themselves as achievers working hard towards personal stakes that merge into common goals of greatness.
America is a country that founded its success on attracting immigrants, yet many developed nations of today perceive the topic of keeping borders open as worrying. Indeed, in 240 years a lot can change. Today’s societies are better settled, and fear of change might affect their well-being.
The American Dream is not dead, but made an obvious change of course and is now geared on attracting quality over quantity. “Give me your tired, your poor” worked well at a time when the nation was still exploring the limits of its cradle. The motto is no longer feasible in today’s economy, and it should be obvious that in order to maintain its primacy, the United States had to move on and replace these words with what reflects the reality of the day. The recent policy of the Trump administration is an inevitable switch from the careless globalization of the past.
Despite the rather disappointing transition for some, America still conveys the most powerful and optimistic message for the rest of the world’s nations, and involuntarily leads what is known as the Free World. The United States is an example of how a democracy should function. However, it also acts as a trap. Most countries can’t resist the urge to compare themselves to America and end up frustrated.
From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the present day’s fight against terrorism, America is facing another challenging transition, that of seeing obvious foes turn into obscure and diluted targets. The formal end of the Cold War left the world’s strongest military without a clear antagonist, but with similar worries as before. Global terrorism is a wicked adversary, parasitic to societies, avoiding traditional confrontation, and hitting without warning. America’s fight to contain the phenomenon often put the country in uncomfortable situations, eroding the trust of its allies and making it look like it pursues a selfish agenda of muscle flexing and political experimentation. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria, terrorists, and absurd political rulers made it look like the Americans are picking up fights whenever and wherever they want.
The truth is that America did not choose to be the world’s referee. The position was granted by Europe’s incapacity to maintain continental peace or take care of its foreign affairs gracefully. The United States commanding a dominant position is a direct result of trying to avoid the mistakes and horrors of World War II. The 1776 Declaration of Independence was partially overwritten by the 1945 unofficial declaration of co-dependence.
America accepted its role to rebuilt Western civilization and holds a continuous vigil over the evil lurking in the shadows, sending its sons and daughters to heroically fight on foreign shores.