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.
New Rochelle, NY — The cottage was originally built on land granted by New York to Paine in 1784; it was moved to its present location, repaired, and dedicated in 1910 as a museum and historic site.
New Rochelle, NY — Home of the Thomas Paine Historical Association, the museum and library offer a substantial collection of first editions, rare prints, and manuscripts.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)