Prescott, William

Charlestown, MA — 17 June 1775.
 
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Charlestown, MA — With groundbreaking fifty years after the event of 17 June 1775, an obelisk commemorates the Battle of Bunker Hill and the fallen militia General Dr. Joseph Warren. A statue of Colonel William Prescott, one of the battle leaders, stands in front.
 
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The Revolutionary leaders never intended to create an original and peculiar indigenous culture. Despite all their talk of American exceptionalism and American virtue in contrast with European corruption, they were seeking not to cut themselves off from Europe’s cultural heritage but to embrace it and in fact to fulfill it. It is a mistake to view America’s post-Revolutionary emulation of Europe as a legacy of helpless dependence passed on from colonial days. Americans imitated European styles and forms not because in their naïveté they could nothing else but because they wanted to.... Their revolution was very much an international affair, an attempt to fulfill the cosmopolitan dreams of the Enlightenment.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)