Saturday, July 3, 2010

We the People...

Well it is the United States 234th birthday!  I sit here watching the John Q Adams miniseries on HBO and wonder what our founding fathers AND mothers went through for us to have our liberties.  I have it on in the background as I make this card for several 4th of July challenges.  I am so proud to be an American and I thank all of our troops, past and present, for allowing me to have the rights I have.  America was born on July 4, 1776 and we are still going strong.  So on this special day, I thought I would give you a few facts about our Declaration of Independence.

A Few Facts about our Declaration of Independence -

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. In exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.

Three Obscure Facts -

There Was No "United States" in the Declaration of Independence.

When the Founding Fathers adopted "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America" [wiki] on July 4, 1776, they didn’t form the nation called The United States of America.
Indeed, the United States of America actually came into being on March 1, 1781 when the Second Continental Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (or more commonly known as the Article of Confederation [wiki]).

Jefferson Was Upset that Slavery was Edited out
In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson [wiki] listed the British crown’s support and importation of slavery to the colonies as one of the grievances:
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither."
The passage, however, was edited out by request of the delegates from South Carolina and Georgia. Jefferson (himself a slave owner!) remained upset about this removal of the condemnation of slavery until his death.

The Youngest and Oldest Signers
The youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence was Edward Rutledge [wiki] of Southern Carolina. He was 26. Actually that wasn’t the only interesting thing: Rutledge argued for the deletion of Jefferson’s condemnation of slavery (see above). He was also initially opposed to independence, but signed the Declaration for the sake of unanimity. The oldest signer was Benjamin Franklin [wiki], who was 70 at the time. At the signing, Franklin famously said "We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."

And a couple of fun facts -

The Original Declaration of Independence: Faded and Rolled Up

You'd think that the original Declaration of Independence - the very document that founded the United States of America - would be treated with respect. Well, it is now. It is stored in special, bullet-proof encasement made of titanium with gold plated frames and filled with inert argon gas to prevent decomposition, but that wasn't the case right after it was signed (see the faded and beat up copy below).

It Was Not Written On Paper
It wasn't written on hemp either, despite the insistence of some. The Declaration of Independence was written on parchment, which is basically treated animal skin (typically sheepskin). It was inked with iron gall ink, which is made by combining fermented oak marble galls with ferrous sulfate.

A picture of the Original Declaration of Independence.
Now my card!  I thought about this card and wanted it to look old and worn like the the above. 
The challenges :
The Cuddlebug Spot - Celebrate Independence Day in USA
2 sketches 4 you - sketch challenge/represent the 4th in the squares
Heart 2 Heart CTMH - Something Patriotic
OWH - a birthday card for blog hop

The lighting was not good, but I think I like how it turned out....worn, just like our national treasure.


Laura Davis said...

Thanks for playing at 2S4Y!

Paula said...

What a nice post and yes I agree I love the worn look and feeling you achieved on the card. Beautifully done! Have a fantastic Independence Day!

Rufus said...

Great post! Thanks for the tidbits. I actually knew some of them. Nice worn and aged look to your card. Happy 4th!

Brenda said...

Great card, I love how you made it look worn. Thanks, too, for the info on the declaration of Independenn. Appreciate it.

Jan Hunnicutt said...

I enjoyed reading your blog post today! You card is wonderful, I like the vintage feel as well. Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

Sylvia said...

Beautiful card!

Marlene Diefendorf said...

I love the design and vintage look of your card. I enjoyed the tidbits on the Declaration of Independence. Happy 4th!

Ola said...

Very awesome post - your card is amazing, I love the worn look!

Happy 4th of July!

Thanks so much for sharing!!!

okj83 at live dot com

...Darlene said...

Thank you for the reminder of our history. We have so many holiday's that are nothing more than picnic days. So it is nice to reflect on the past.

I think you did a great job on our card. Thank you for sharing both.

debb said...

Beautiful card and wonderful post! Happy 4th!

Cheryl said...

Great card! Its a beautiful tribute to our nation's history.

Have a safe & happy July 4th week end!

Please stop by my blog and sign up to win my blog candy.


Holly / InkPaperStamps said...

Very, very pretty--and thanks for the history lesson!

Cheryl Nelson said...

Loved reading your facts on the founding of this country! Fab card!!

JustYolie said...

Great vintage-look card! Happy 4th.

Noelle's Corner said...

great card. TFS

Sherry Hickey said...

Your card is beautiful! It reminds me of the huge Old Glory here at the Smithsonian! I'd love to know how you achieved that effect (I'm a newbie :-) Happy 4th of July!!

Jeanne said...

Great card. And thanks for the history lesson. It's always great to remember where we came from. Happy fourth!

Rhonda Miller said...

Oh, this card is great. I love the old feel of it. Thanks for sharing all these facts.

Teresa / Trees aWard in Digital Stamps said...

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Yolanda said...

Great info, great card and great picture of your Daddy.

Jackie L Watson said...

I enjoyed reading your facts about the Declaration of Independece. Your card is awesome I love the Vintage look of it.

Marianne said...

Thanks for the little known facts (at least to me) about the Declaration of Independence.
Great card.

Erika said...

Great card! And thanks for sharing those fun facts. :)

Sandy said...

Cute card - it really does reflect that parchment look. Thanks for the SUPER history lesson!

And I love the pic of your daddy :)

helloholley said...

Oh My Goodness!! Wow....I loved the history lesson....and your card is amazing!!! ;0

rstuck2003 said...

thanks for the info...great card

My Daddy

My Daddy
This is my fave pic of my MP in the Marines