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Perspective for A New Vision

July 4th:America & Beyond


 

 

July 4th is not only important to America, but it is also a significant day for other nations of the world. It remains to be seen, if the other countries in the world are seeking to emulate the United States or are selecting July 4th for its own significance to their respective culture and history.

Within the United States there are varied views on the July 4th celebration. For example,while July 4th, 1776 is the popularly held date that the country was “born”, there is no consensus on when the country was actually formed.  Astrologers and others disagree on the birth-chart of the United States of America. Abraham Lincoln in his first inaugural address stated:

The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was ‘to form a more perfect Union.’ “

Some believe that it was on July 2, 1776 the country was formed and it was just announced on July 4, 1776. The members of the Second Continental Congress, actually voted for independence on July 2, 1776.  On July 4, 1776 a second vote was taken to approve the Declaration of Independence. 

Other dates postulated as the correct time of the “birth of a nation” include:

  • July 6, 1775- The date the colonies formed an official united front, declared war on the British and severed all governmental as well political ties with Great Britain.
  • Nov 15, 1777- The Articles of Confederation became effective and the independent states declared unity under one government.
  • September 17, 1787- The U.S. Constitution was officially adopted. 

If we accept July 4, 1776 as the actual date the country was formed, this would translate in numerological terms to: 7+4+1+7+7+6=32=3+2=5.  We see the number 5 appear with other major personalities on events associated with July 4th and American history.

The Number Five & American History

  • The widely accepted date that America was formed: July 4,1776=7+4+1+7+7+6=32=3+2=5.
  • July 4th is the 185th day in a non-leap year. 185=1+8+5=14=1+4=5
  • Five men were responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence. Known as the Committee of Five, they were: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert Livingston.
  • The letters USA: U=3 S=1 A=1; added together gives us-3+1+1=5.
  • The word America: A=1+M=4+E=5+R=9+I=9+C=3+A=1=32=3+2=5
  • John Adams the 2nd President and Thomas Jefferson the 3rd President die on the same day, July 4, 1826, hours apart. 2+3=5.
  • Adams and Jefferson passed away on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
  • President James Monroe, the 5th President dies on July 4th 1831, five years after Adams and Jefferson and 55 years after the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Another source of the varying views on the July 4th celebration is the historical unresolved issue of race. Which despite the election of President Barack Obama remains an unresolved issue. Frederick Douglas when speaking on July 5, 1852, gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall:

 “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

Those sentiments expressed by Douglas still ring true for many persons of African ancestry. Thus they may be more inclined to celebrate or acknowledge other events that have taken place on that day, which speak more to their overall advancement toward true empowerment.  For example:

Booker T. Washington established Tuskegee Institute on July 4, 1881,  Spellman, Morris Brown College, and Bishop College were also founded on that date.

 Wallace D. Fard, better known as Master Fard Muhammad  arrived in Detroit, Michigan, on July 4, 1930.   The Nation of Islam (NOI) website stated that Master Fard Muhammad:

“On July the Fourth, the day of America’s Independence celebration, He announced the beginning of His mission which was to restore and to resurrect His lost and found people, who were identified as the original members of the Tribe of Shabazz from the Lost Nation of Asia.

The lost people of the original nation of African descent, were captured, exploited, and dehumanized to serve as servitude slaves of America for over three centuries. His mission was to teach the downtrodden and defenseless Black people a thorough Knowledge of God and of themselves, and to put them on the road to Self-Independence with a superior culture and higher civilization than they had previously experienced.”

He would lay the foundations for the Nation of Islam and  rename his student Elijah Poole to Elijah Muhammad. Elijah Muhammad became the leader of the Nation of Islam in 1934, until his passing on February 25, 1975 at the age of 77.

 

Ambiguity and The American National Identity

Ambiguity is a dominant feature of the American national identity. It begins with not having a exact date to mark their existence that is without controversy. Though the July 4, 1776 date is ingrained in the masses of the people, any serious inquiry would at least raise questions on when America actually came into existence.

Astrologer Dane Rudhyar writes:

“The idea that nations are collective persons who are born at a particular time is quite ambiguous; and we find a similar kind of ambiguity prevailing when the “birth-chart” of a social institution or a business organization is being discussed. “

He goes on to state:

“When we deal with the “birth” of a nation the ambiguity is even greater, except perhaps in cases when, in recent times, a new nation has been scheduled officially to begin at, usually, midnight of a particular day.

 But even this is open to question, for in a sense this is the same situation as when an Obstetrician decides to make a Caesarean operation on an expectant mother, or deliberately induces birth by drugs. I personally believe that in such cases the surgeon’s decision is an integral part of the environmental influences which have led to the child’s birth and that what matters is the baby’s first breath, however separation from the mother was induced. ” 

There is not a intellectually sound definitive answer for when did America’s separation from Britain take place.  

Another source of the ambiguity is the chasm between what the nation claims to stand for versus what it actually does.  As Frederick Douglas points out, July 4th celebrations despite its external pageantry is hollow internally to those who are always at war with  the inhabitants and its institutions on a day-to-day basis.

The third source of America’s ambiguity is its use of universal culture and appeal to the world-at- large.  America is very adept at tapping into the rich reservoir of historically vibrant ancient cultures and representing them as their own.  Examine the capital of Washington, D.C. and compare it to Ancient Egypt/Kemet. This ability to mask itself with elements of the world yet appearing uniquely “new” provides them with a cloak of ambiguity. Thus America can appear to be all things to all people as well as provide rhetoric of unity and fairness but as Frederick Douglas observed fall short from living up to their “promises”.

This ambiguity is a source of America’s strength as well as its complex identity for it provides them cover when they attract immigrants to its shores but treat them less than human; or write in its founding documents that people of African ancestry or 3/5ths of a human being and still be able to get them to volunteer to  fight in every major war for America. 

The question is are other countries able to sift through the ambiguous veneer of America’s mask and see its true face or will they adopt or seek to emulate July 4th celebrations out of ignorance?

 July 4th In Other Countries
  On July 4, 1879, in the Battle of Ulundi also known as the final battle of the Anglo-Zulu War.    
The Battle of Ulundi was fought in 1879 between the British  and the Zulu Empire. From complex beginnings, the war is notable for several particularly bloody battles, as well as for being a landmark in the timeline of colonialism in the region. The war ended the Zulu nation’s independence. King Cetshwayo kaMpande, half brother of Shaka ruled the Zulu nation from 1872 to 1879. After the British victory in 1879, Cetshwayo became a fugitive in his own land and was sent into exile. Wikipedia states:
“In 1878, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, British Commissioner for South Africa, began to demand reparations for border infractions. They mainly angered Cetshwayo who kept his calm until Frere demanded that he should effectively disband his army. His refusal led to the Zulu War in 1879. After initial defeats, such as the Battle of Isandlwana, the British eventually began to gain victories. After Cetshwayo’s capital Ulundi was captured and torched on 4 July, he was deposed and exiled to London, returning only in 1883.”
 In the Caribbean, though not popularly recognized, July 4th , 1973 the  Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was  formed. The CARICOM organization’s 31st meeting is being held in Montego Bay, Jamaica from July 4th 2010 to July 8th 2010.  July 4th is the “earth day” of Jamaican National Hero,  Norman Manley who lived from July 4, 1893 – September 2, 1969.
The day of July 4th, would play a role in both the collective and individual nations that became members of CARICOM.
 
The official text of the Treaty Establishing the Caribbean Community, was signed at Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago on  July 4, 1973.
 
 According to the CARICOM website:
 
“The establishment of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was the result of a 15-year effort to fulfil the hope of regional integration which was born with the establishment of the British West Indies Federation in 1958. The West Indies Federation came to an end in 1962 but its end, may be regarded as the real beginning of what is now the Caribbean Community.

With the end of the Federation, political leaders in the Caribbean made more serious efforts to strengthen the ties between the islands and mainland by providing for the continuance and strengthening of the areas of cooperation that existed during the Federation. Further, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago both attained independence in August that year and with it the power to control their own domestic and external affairs.

In announcing its intention to withdraw from the Federation, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago proposed the creation of a Caribbean Community, consisting not only of the 10 members of the Federation, but also of the three Guianas and all the islands of the Caribbean Sea – both independent and non-independent.

To discuss this concept, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago convened the first Heads of Government Conference in July 1963, and attended by the leaders of Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. At this Conference, the participating leaders of the four(4) Caribbean Countries all spoke clearly of the need for close cooperation with Europe, Africa and Latin America.

In July 1965, talks between the Premiers of Barbados and British Guiana and the Chief Minister of Antigua on the possible establishment of a Free Trade Area in the Caribbean resulted in the announcement of definite plans to establish such a Free Trade Area. In December that year, Heads of Government of Antigua, Barbados and British Guiana signed an Agreement at Dickenson Bay, Antigua, to set up the Caribbean Free Trade Association (CARIFTA).

The new CARIFTA agreement came into effect on May 1, 1968, with the participation of Antigua, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana. The original idea to permit all territories in the Region to participate in the Association was achieved later that year with the entry of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent in July and of Jamaica and Montserrat on August 1, 1968. British Honduras (Belize) became a member in May 1971.

At the Seventh Heads of Government Conference in October 1972, Caribbean Leaders decided to transform CARIFTA into a Common Market and establish the Caribbean Community of which the Common Market would be an integral part.

At the Eighth Heads of Government Conference of CARIFTA held in April 1973 in Georgetown, Guyana the decision to establish the Caribbean Community was brought into fruition with the consideration of Heads of Government of the draft legal instruments and with the signing by 11 members of CARIFTA (the exception being Antigua and Montserrat).
The Accord provided for the signature of the Caribbean Community Treaty on July 4 and its coming into effect in August 1973, among the then four independent countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

The Georgetown Accord also provided that the other eight territories – Antigua, British Honduras, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis/Anguilla and St. Vincent which signed the Accord would become full members of the Community by May 1, 1974.  

The Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) was established by the Treaty of Chaguaramas, which was signed by Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and came into effect on August 1, 1973. Subsequently the other eight Caribbean territories joint CARICOM. The Bahamas became the 13th Member State of the Community on July 4, 1983, but not a member of the Common Market.

In July 1991, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos became Associated Members of CARICOM, followed by Anguilla in July 1999. The Cayman Islands became the fourth Associate Member of the regional grouping on 16 May 2002, and Bermuda the fifth Associate Member on 2 July 2003.

Suriname became the 14th Member State of the Caribbean Community on July 4, 1995.

Haiti secured provisional membership on 4 July 1998 and on 03 July 2002 was the first French-speaking Caribbean State to become a full Member of CARICOM” (Emphasis Mine).

 
Rwanda celebrates Liberation Day every July 4th, to acknowledge the end of the genocide spurred on by ethnic violence that took place in 1994. According to Josh Ruxin, writing in the July 6, 2010, New York Times, Rwanda and United States may be the only countries where July 4th is a national holiday.
 
 ©VisionThought 2010. All Rights Reserved.

 

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2 Responses to “July 4th:America & Beyond”

  1. Yankees owner Steinbrenner dies at 80 (AP)…

    I found your entry interesting to I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

    • Thanks for reading and sending a comment. Check out my article on NY public address announcer Bob Sheppard.
      Have a good one.


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