Why is the crack on the Liberty Bell significant?

Tourist Attractions

By Kristy Tolley

The Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell is one of the most iconic symbols of American independence. Located in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell draws visitors from all over the world who come to see the bell’s famous crack and learn about its history and significance.

The Liberty Bell has become more than just a bell; it is a symbol of freedom, unity, and equality. The crack on the bell has become a part of the legend and has played an important role in America’s history.

History of the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell was first commissioned in 1751 by the Pennsylvania Assembly to commemorate the 50th anniversary of William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges. The bell’s inscription reads "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," a quote from Leviticus 25:10 in the Bible.

The bell was originally made in London, England, but it cracked soon after it arrived in Philadelphia. The bell was recast twice by local foundry workers John Pass and John Stow before it was hung in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House, which is now known as Independence Hall.

The Creation of the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell was created with the intention of being rung to call lawmakers to meetings and to announce important news. The bell was made of copper and tin and weighed about 2,000 pounds.

However, the foundry workers who created the bell were inexperienced and made several mistakes during the casting process, which resulted in the bell cracking before it could be used. The workers tried to repair the crack, but it continued to grow, rendering the bell unusable.

The First Crack

The first crack in the Liberty Bell occurred in 1752, just months after it was hung in the steeple of the Pennsylvania State House. The cause of the crack is still unknown, but it is believed to have been caused by a flaw in the bell’s casting.

Despite the crack, the bell was still used for many years. However, the crack made the bell’s sound less clear and made it more likely to break, so it was eventually retired.

The Second Crack

The second and most famous crack in the Liberty Bell occurred on July 8, 1835, while it was being rung for the funeral of Chief Justice John Marshall. The crack started at the bottom of the bell and extended up to the word "Philadelphia" in the inscription.

After the crack, the Liberty Bell was no longer used as a functional bell, but it continued to be used as a symbol of American independence and freedom.

The Significance of the Crack

The crack on the Liberty Bell has become a symbol of American independence, unity, and equality. Here are a few reasons why:

The Crack as a Symbol of American Independence

The Liberty Bell represents the principles of freedom and independence that America was founded upon. The crack on the bell is a reminder that America’s freedom came at a cost and that the fight for liberty is ongoing.

The Crack as a Symbol of American Unity

The Liberty Bell has become a symbol of unity in America. The bell was rung to call lawmakers to meetings and to announce important news, bringing people together to discuss and act on important issues. The crack on the bell is a reminder that even when we are divided, we can come together for a common cause.

The Crack as a Symbol of American Equality

The Liberty Bell’s inscription reads "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof," a message that has come to represent the idea that all people are created equal. The crack on the bell is a reminder that America’s struggle for equality is ongoing.

The Importance of the Liberty Bell Today

The Liberty Bell continues to be an important symbol of American history and values. Visitors from around the world come to see the bell and learn about its significance. The bell has also been used as a symbol of protest and movement, such as during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Conclusion: The Legacy of the Liberty Bell

The Liberty Bell has become more than just a bell; it is a symbol of America’s history and values. The crack on the bell has become a part of its legend and has played an important role in America’s history.

As we look to the future, the Liberty Bell serves as a reminder that America’s struggle for freedom, unity, and equality is ongoing. The legacy of the Liberty Bell will continue to inspire future generations to fight for these values and make America a better place for all.

References and Further Reading

  • National Park Service. "The Liberty Bell." Accessed September 21, 2021. https://www.nps.gov/inde/learn/historyculture/stories-libertybell.htm.

  • "The Liberty Bell’s Crack." Independence Hall Association. Accessed September 21, 2021. .

  • "The Liberty Bell." History.com. Accessed September 21, 2021. .

Photo of author

Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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