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.
Charlottesville, VA — A working plantation with a modest house, it was completed for James Monroe and his family in 1799; includes period furniture, personal artifacts, and extensive grounds.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Fredericksburg, VA — The fifth president of the U.S., Monroe fought at Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. The museum contains personal artifacts, furnishings, and papers.
Valley Forge, VA — This federal-style mansion, built about 1740 and enlarged in 1798, served as headquarters for the Continental Army during the Battle of Germantown in 1777; includes period furniture and artifacts on 3.5 acres.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)