Bob and I went down to Charleston yesterday, and took a tour of the historic town center and several of its buildings. It was fascinating, there is a very distinctive collection of buildings that are some of the oldest in the country and most of them are restored. Charleston was lucky (in a sense) that it suffered such a long period of economic decline, or these buildings would probably have been razed and replaced. But because they never had the money or much economic activity through the 20th century, the architecture remained intact, somewhat frozen in time until the city could be reborn as a tourist destination to see these very buildings.
Evidence of past glory and wealth (largely based on slave labor) was everywhere. We also learned a few new interesting details while touring some of the homes. For example, what was called the “Georgian” style of architecture (after King George) was renamed after the War of Independance to “Federal” style. The war was also why the Episcopal Church was so named (breaking with the Chuch of England). So the US clearly has a long history of renaming to show their “independance” from things. And lest you think the level of the silliness reflected in such idiotic terms as “freedom fries” is a recent phenomenon, you should know that in World War I there was a move in the US to rename “sauerkraut” as “liberty cabbage” (I kid you not).