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.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Richmond, VA — Built in 1790, this Federal-style house was where the great Chief Justice lived for 45 years; during the war he was a first lieutenant; includes family furnishings and memorabilia.
Trenton, NJ — A 155-foot granite column that commemorates the 1776 Battle of Trenton; accessible by means of an elevator with good views of the capital of New Jersey.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)