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 — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Boston, MA — Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a center for commerce in 1742. Today it is still a place of business, but it is the second floor meeting hall — where Bostonians protested successively against the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townsend Acts, and the military occupation — that has the greater legacy.
Boston, MA — Established in 1660, it contains some 1,600 graves including Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and James Otis, Jr.
Lexington, MA — Completed in 1737 by John Hancock's grandfather, the house is now a museumOn the night of Paul Revere's April 1775 ride John Hancock and Samuel Adams were awakened there with news of the advancing British troops.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Boston, MA — Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of Massachusetts government in the 18th century. It is the oldest surviving public building in Boston and one of the most important public buildings still standing from the original 13 colonies.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)