Happy Fourth of July! My thoughts immediately go to independence on this day – for our country and each of us.
Might I also encourage you to read this at the Daily Beast? http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/07/03/american-dream-may-have-waned-for-some-but-lives-on-for-many.html
Attainment of independence should not be confused with revolution, which typically refers to the violent overthrow of a ruling authority. While some revolutions seek and achieve national independence, others aim only to redistribute power — with or without an element of emancipation, such as in democratization — within a state, which as such may remain unaltered. Furthermore, some countries were granted independence without any revolutionary acts. 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 (seeDevolution). 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, less commonly, 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 is Scotland‘s Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, with the most recent example being Azawad‘s declaration of independence in 2012. Declaring independence and attaining it however, are quite different. A well-known successful example is the U.S. Declaration of Independenceissued in 1776.