A couple of years ago I was speaking to a friend about July 4th and she was confused since in Africa we never knew the history behind July the 4th. July 4th is in fact American Independence Day from British colonial rule. Colonialism is a practice of domination which involves the subjugation of one people by another. The American founding fathers were sent by Britain to take over the new world America as an extension of the British empire. The colonial subjects began to get ideas of their own about self governorship and creating their own system of government. In 1965 a student of history Ian Douglas Smith of Southern Rhodesia which is present day Zimbabwe also got the same idea established Unilateral Declaration of Independence where he too cut ties with Britain; as it was known then as the colonialists sought self governance and independence from Britain.
A little known history fact is that American or at least the 13 colonies were part of the British Empire and were in fact known as colonies. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy; “Colonialism is a practice of domination which involves the subjugation of one people by another.” It was Britain that financed Cecil John Rhodes, David Livingstone and all other colonialist who came to take over Africa. just as it was in Africa the British Empire exercised its superiority over Americans. After all it was British funds that supported the Mayflower.
In African colonial states the indigenous Africans rebelled against silly taxes that were exerted over them by the British government. A major concern was the policy taxation without representation. People who had enjoyed their sovereignty were all of a sudden forced to pay unending taxes such as hut tax, dog tax, road tax, etc. it was no different in the Americas but one day the Americans got an anti-colonial mindset and revolted. They were tired of overpaying taxes and launched what is now known as the Boston Tea Party which was the American rebellion to British rule. Just as in Africa where the indigenous people fought long and hard for their freedom the Americans sought help from the French and the statue of liberty on Liberty Island is a gift to the Americans by the French people. In Windhoek, Pretoria and Harare the indigenous people erected Heroes Acres to celebrate those who fought for the liberation against colonial rule.
America was the first British colony to develop an anti-colonial mentality and challenge British authority. The first colony to challenge colonialism was Haiti , read our article on Haiti
. They declined to pay taxes to the Brits and hence declared independence. This anti-colonial mindset is why every 4th
of July America celebrates “INDEPENDENCE DAY
.” Without the anti-colonial mindset America would be another member of the commonwealth and would certainly not be the hegemony that she is today.
The struggle for independence for people whether Africans on the African continent or Americans on the American continent reminds us that people want to control their own destiny and govern their affairs After all what self respecting adult would reject liberty and freedom for subjugation and dominance?