The movie stars Mel Gibson as the central character and is set in South Carolina in the year1776. The Patriot depicts the "to-be" Americans struggle as they fight for their independence from Britain. The purpose of our paper is to outline the historical accuracy of the movie.
Summary of The Patriot
The Patriot, the movie, is set in America in 1776. It is the story of the courageous efforts by the British government to defeat a group of Colonial rebels located in South Carolina during the American Revolutionary war. Not long after the Continental Congress had ordered publication of its Declaration on Independence from the rule of King George, war is waging in the north. While a massive drive in the south is growing for volunteers to join the Continental Army, Benjamin Martin, played by Mel Gibson, fearing for the safety of his family, publicly objects to the coming revolution. When one of Martin's sons joins the Continental Army and the British Army burns his farm and arrest his son. Martin has a change of heart, leaves his children in the hands of his wife's sister and accepts a command in the Army to fight the British and free his son. Historical Accuracy and Significance
Some of the characters portrayed in The Patriot are real people, like Cornwallis, some are compilations of several real people. Some of events depicted are pure fiction, while others are based on actual happenings. The role of the militia is highlighted in this film and they are shown to be effective. In reality, the militia was considered very important. No strategy used by the British was able to contain American resistance. The Reader's Companion to American History states:
in the final analysis it was the refusal of the civilian population to capitulate and the determination of the hundreds of ill-trained, poorly supplied militia companies to harass the enemy that weighed most heavily in the defeat of the British forces in America....
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