After America was liberated from British rule on paper, how did it develop its own cultural personality and political system? Yale University historian Kariann Akemi Yokota tracked the fledgling nation as it stepped out for her book Unbecoming British: How Revolutionary America Became a Postcolonial Nation.
Preparing for an attack by the British wasn't the only priority George Washington held high as the leader of a new nation. Yokota writes that he painstakingly chose creamware dishes and tea service items to set American taste in the right direction. He was also somewhat obsessed with native plants - Washington was planning gardens as the British troops descended. Read more about Yokota's view of that time in this Huffington Post review.