Charm and Reenactment at Fort Ticonderga

  • It’s not just the Civil War that has passionate participants performing in famous battle reenactments, there are localized instances of reenactments from the American Revolution as well. Probably the best known is the recreation played out every year on Lexington Battle Green (starting at 5:30 am) as part of Patriots’ Day, a Massachusetts state holiday. To better understand the attraction of these reenactments for the participants, read this charming piece — Where the Past is Never Left Behind — about how one mother was finally seduced into enjoying with her family the setting, the view, and eventually the history and its fake battles at Fort Ticonderoga on Lake George, New York (The New York Times, 12-Sep-2013).
JDN | 23-Aug-2013

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)