Happy 4th of July .... yet, do we remember just what that means? Has anyone sought to explain to our foreigh viewers just WHY the 4th should matter to them, WHY it's not just another form of "Cinco de Mayo?"
On July 4th, 1776, men representing thirteen completely separate colonies signed a declaration that they would no longer honor the rule of the British King.
This is remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is that the various colonise were as separate then as Australia and Canada are today. Each had it's own charter, appointed Royal Governor, history, and laws. Indeed, nearly every person who signed the declaration would have been imprisoned in the other colonies simply for being of the wrong faith; Pennsylvania was only one (of two) colonies that guaranteed religious freedom.
Moreoever, the colonies united, and followed the Declaration years later with a Constitution. Rather than assuming roles as thirteen separate countries - much as Grenada and the Bahamas are distinct today - they formed a Federal Government to represent them together to the world.
They did not simply replace the British King with one of their own. Instead, they took the truly revolutionary step of writing laws -the Constitution(s)- that placed limits on the government. Even today, rare is the country where the laws do not exist to limit the governed. That's something to think about as you consider the role of building codes.
We have largely remained true to these principles. Where other countries built empires, we liberated the oppressed and returned their countries to rule by their own people.
Those are the things that made our independance truly revolutionary. Power to the people, decades before Marx!