Independence Day: Declaring freedom from tyranny

Published 4:45 pm Monday, July 1, 2024

By Representative Daniel Elliott


Over the past few weeks, I have used my column to share with you some of the legislation we passed during the 2024 Regular Session and update you about the work we are doing to prepare for the next session. This week I would like to take a break from that to discuss Independence Day and the courage of our Founding Fathers.

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Just over a year after the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired at Lexington and Concord, members of the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to discuss the prospect of American independence from Great Britain. A resolution of independence was approved on July 2, but it was not until July 4 that the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress as an official document stating the colonies’ separation from Great Britain.

Prior to this, five men—Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston—were enlisted to write a document explaining the reasons for the colonies’ desire for independence. Jefferson, the document’s primary author, was selected as such because of his known writing skills. The men discussed their ideas for the document and Jefferson began writing. In just two and a half weeks, a draft was completed. After review and revision from Adams and Franklin, the document was presented to Congress.

Having agreed to declare independence from Great Britain, this document provided the Continental Congress with all the reasons it was essential. It spelled out perfectly why the colonies no longer wanted to live under the tyrannical rule of King George III. Some of the grievances the Founding Fathers had with the British government included taxation without parliamentary representation and denial of trials by jury—things they fixed when setting up our new government.

Two hundred forty-eight years later, each Fourth of July we celebrate the freedom of our great nation—freedom first granted to us because of our Founding Fathers’ bravery to separate themselves from tyranny and embrace the liberty and freedom of self-governance. They could have cowered under the rule of Great Britain, but they stood strong in their belief that the colonies deserved freedom. They could have accepted the overbearing power of the British Crown in their lives, but they boldly declared independence and fought until it was won. The courage of rebels birthed the nation that established the freedoms we now enjoy.

This Independence Day, let us not forget the boldness and determination of our Founding Fathers to declare independence and build our great nation. They laid the groundwork, and I am truly grateful that I have been blessed with the opportunity to participate in the government they once only imagined. In my position as a legislator, I am dedicated to upholding their desire for representation in government as I represent our district at the Capitol.

May God bless the United States of America, now and always. Happy Independence Day!

As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at and keep track through the Kentucky legislature’s website at