The Emergence of Memory on the Northern Tour
This chapter reflects on the early stages of two significant cultural developments in the early republic—the rise of tourism and changing memories of the Revolutionary past. That neither had fully developed by 1800 reflects the fledgling state of American culture, but also the ways in which tourism and memory grew hand in hand. The chapter highlights the differences in perceiving private Revolutionary War memories in the early republic—from exercises in personal sentiment to explicit searches for nationalistic historical fact and a patriotic past. In traveling, Americans encountered and began to understand their past, but they did this in highly personal ways that differed from histories constructed by cultural arbiters. History served to complement landscape and emotion, never occupying the sole focus of the touristic gaze.
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