The July 4 holiday is meant to honor that, not just fireworks. Ironically, government's grown so much since 1776 that fireworks might be illegal in your town.
The Declaration wasn't about creating rules for citizens to obey. It wasn't just about condemning the British, either.
Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues created a document steeped in the idea of individual rights. He could have written about the desire to replace a bad king with a good king, but he didn't.
The founders' bold plan was to design a completely new sort of country -- one where people could rule themselves.
The Colonies were already known around the world for being a place where enterprising people could chart their own destiny. Now they would become a nation.
The population grew quickly as opportunity attracted immigrants. There were no walls to stop people from coming ashore and few rules to stop anyone from building a home or a business, or trying out new ideas.
So people prospered.