Independence Day Celebrations Around The World

Published July 2, 2013
Updated January 11, 2018

Israel: May 14, 1948

A goal of Zionist organizations since the 19th century, a Jewish homeland in Palestine came to fruition on May 14, 1948. Following British defeat of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the UK received a mandate over Palestine and inevitable questions of how it would be partitioned (it was occupied by Arab populations) began soon after.

Eventually, British officials transferred the heady task to the United Nations, whose initial resolution was to separate Palestine into independent Arab and Jewish states (the latter receiving the majority of the land area), along with a special international regime for Jerusalem.

As can be imagined, the mandating of borders against the wishes of the majority residing within the country by an external, largely Western body was ill-received by much of the Arab populace. Nevertheless, the resolution passed and drafting of Israel’s Declaration of Independence was soon under way.

In it, the UN’s partition plan fell under major scrutiny and the declaration’s drafters ultimately dropped the proposed boundaries under the thought that, according to eventual Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion, since Arabs didn’t agree to the boundaries, neither should they.

Fearful of British attempts to quell it or an earlier Arab invasion, Zionist leaders held a hushed declaration ceremony on one afternoon in May whose results were supported by many powerful nations. It should come as no surprise that all of this transpired in the context of a civil war between Jewish and Arab residents of Palestine, with an outright Arab-Israeli war soon to follow.

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Source: Getty

Colombia: July 20, 1810

Independence Day Colombia 1

Source: SF Nomads

The 1808 French invasion of Spain caused many a calamity within Spain and its colonies–one of the most salient being the question of Spanish authority over New Granada, a centralist republic that primarily comprised present-day Colombia and Panama. The empire, frantic about its future in light of Ferdinand VII’s captivity, made a series of conflicting decisions that caused undue strife in New Granada and ultimately led to the loss of it via an uprising in Bogotá on July 20, 1810.

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As is the case with so many newly-independent states, conflicts of ideals and interests begat a series of civil wars, and the nominally “united” and incredibly vulnerable provinces fell back into Spanish hands between 1814 and 1816. Eventually rebels joined forces with Simón Bolívar and defeated Spaniards, and the foundation for the Republic of Colombia was soon laid.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.