2 City (1990 pop. 112,301), seat of Jackson co., W Mo., a suburb of Kansas City; inc. 1849. Its manufactures include machinery, building materials, apparel, foods, paper products, and ordnance. Soybeans, corn, and sorghum are grown, and there is dairying and natural-gas production in the area. In the 1830s and 40s, Independence was the starting point for expeditions over the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail. A group of Mormons settled there in 1831, and the city is the world headquarters of the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Independence was the home of President Harry S. Truman and is the seat of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, on whose grounds the former president is buried. Other points of interest include the old county jail and museum (1859; restored); the old county courthouse (1825; restored); and nearby Fort Osage (1808; reconstructed). Park Univ. has a campus in Independence.
Anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Declaration of Independence by the Second Continental Congress (July 4, 1776). It is the greatest secular holiday in the country. Celebrating the day became common only after the War of 1812. Thereafter, civic-minded groups worked to link the ideals of democracy and citizenship to the patriotic spirit of the day.
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City (pop., 2000: 113,288), western Missouri, U.S. Settled in 1827, it served as the starting point for the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail and was a rendezvous for wagon trains during the California gold rush. Home of a Mormon colony (1831–33), it is now the world headquarters of the Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). It was occupied by Union troops during the American Civil War and was the scene of two skirmishes with Confederates. The hometown of Pres. Harry Truman, it is the site of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
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(July 4, 1776) Document approved by the Continental Congress that announced the separation of 13 North American British colonies from Britain. The armed conflict during the American Revolution gradually convinced the colonists that separation from Britain was essential. Several colonies instructed their delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. On June 7, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia offered a resolution for independence. The congress appointed Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to draft a declaration. Jefferson was persuaded to write the draft, which was presented with few changes on June 28. It began with a declaration of individual rights and then listed the acts of tyranny by George III that formed the justification for seeking independence. After debate and changes to accommodate regional interests, including deletion of a condemnation of slavery, it was approved on July 4 as “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.” It was signed by Congress president John Hancock, printed, and read aloud to a crowd assembled outside, then engrossed (written in script) on parchment and signed by the 56 delegates.
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The term independence is used in contrast to subjugation, which refers to a region as a "territory" —subject to the political and military control of an external government. The word is sometimes used in a weaker sense to contrast with hegemony, the indirect control of one nation by another, more powerful nation.
Independence can be the initial status of an emerging nation (often filling a political void), but is often an emancipation from some dominating power. It can be argued that independence is a negative definition: the state of not being controlled by another power through colonialism, expansionism or imperialism. Independence may be obtained by decolonization, or by separation or dissolution.
Although the last three can often coincide with it, they are not to be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority. This sometimes only aims to redistribute power—with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization—within a state, which as such may remain unaltered. The Russian October Revolution, for example, was not intended to seek national independence; the United States Revolutionary War, however, was.
Autonomy (in slight contrast) refers to a kind of independence which has been granted by an overseeing authority that itself still retains ultimate authority over that territory (see Devolution). A protectorate refers to an autonomous region that depends upon a larger government for its protection as an autonomous region. The dates of established independence (or, to a lesser degree, the commencement of revolution), are typically celebrated as a national holiday known as an independence day.
Sometimes, a state wishing to achieve independence from a dominating power will issue a declaration of independence, the earliest surviving example being Scotland's Declaration of Arbroath, and the most recent example being Kosovo's declaration of independence. Another example is the U.S. Declaration of Independence issued in 1776.
Causes for a country or province wishing to seek independence are many. Disillusionment rising from the establishment is a cause widely used in separatist movements, but it is usually severe economic difficulties that trigger these groups into action. The means can extend from peaceful demonstrations, like in the case of the Indian independence movement, to a violent civil war.