As a US/Canadian dual citizen I have experienced the 4th of July from both sides of the border. Americans definitely love to celebrate it - fireworks, beer, BBQ and mass gatherings. They also love to celebrate the 'founding fathers' but when it comes to 'Independence Day' the other parties involved seem to put more thought into the holiday and what it means than the Americans do.
I once flew a British Flag in the US on the 4th of July. This received only one, single comment from a passing man who said that I 'must like the Who a lot'.
Personally I think the revolution itself was a mistake. The Brits were fairly well justified in their positions and I think that many of America's cultural problems could have been averted and it could have been a stronger, more progressive and more powerful nation.
If the US had voted against the revolution and if they had decided to let the south go, averting the Civil War (arming escaped slaves and abolitionists and allowing slavery to end through uprising, rather than invasion) many things would be different:
- The Northern (now mostly 'Blue') states would still be part of the same country as Canada.
- The Southern (now mostly 'Red') states would likely be a very different nation, likely ruled by the descendents of former slaves.
- The US/Canada would have eventually gained independence anyway (like nearly all of the former British Empire)
- The US/Canada would have long belonged to one of the world's largest cultural and trading blocs (the Commonwealth)
- The US/Canada would still have a vast wealth of natural resources
- The US likely would not have the same gun culture or religious conservative culture or general puritanical zeal (it doesn't really exist in any of the other former British colonies).
- Native Americans likely would have fared better. While Canada's treatment of aboriginal people certainly wasn't and still isn't something to be proud of, Canada does not have the same history of outright massacres that the US does.
Of course it is difficult to say how this would have impacted other parts of history (World War I and II for example) but I still feel that US history would have been better for everyone involved if the American Revolution had never happened.
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