Today is the Fourth of July in America, and everywhere else for that matter. But in America it’s a celebration of our independence from England back in 1776. Well, sort of. Representatives of the thirteen American colonies did declare independence in July of that year, but a true separation was not attained until May 12, 1784, when England and America exchanged ratified copies of the Treaty of Paris. But “the Twelfth of May” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. So celebrate today!
If you are unsure how to spend your day, consider reading some of these books from the Well-Read Man Project candidate list that didn’t make it into the final project, but that did influence America’s founders.
- The Spirit of the Laws, by Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu
- The Social Contract, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith
- Theological-Political Treatise, by Benedict de Spinoza
Check back tomorrow after the celebrations for a quick review of the first project book, The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.
[Image Credits: “John Hancock’s Defiance” by Currier & Ives, from the Library of Congress]