Independence Day is the national holiday of the United States. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress declared the independence of the thirteen American colonies from Britain and this laid the foundation of a new nation state—the United States of America. During the Revolutionary War, German Americans served both the British and the Americans. Well known is the Prussian born general Baron von Steuben (1730–1794), who fought on the American side and became famous by introducing successful new military drills, tactics, and disciplines. Other German Americans followed the example of Frederick Baron de Weissenfels, who initially joined the British, but soon changed sides. In this respect German Americans took their share in achieving the independence that Americans celebrate with their national holiday every year since 1777.