Commemorating the legacy of the American Revolution

The National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission (America 250) have partnered to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. The partnership will enrich efforts to educate and inspire as the nation begins the countdown to the largest and most inclusive commemoration in the nation’s history.

Winning a war of independence was only the beginning. Mere months after the Constitution of the United States went into effect, a second revolution began. This one would not start with a declaration, but it would be launched with the opening of a mill.

The success of Samuel Slater's cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, RI touched off a chain reaction that changed how people worked and where they lived. People across the United States and around the world continue to grapple with the consequences of some of those choices to this day.

Over the next four years, park staff at Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park will write articles that take a deeper look at the core legacies of American Independence through the lens of the American Industrial Revolution. New artilces will be published in January, April, July, and October of each year. Check back to this page learn more.


Going in Circles: A Revolution Along the Blackstone

This article takes a look at the legacy of Samuel Slater and the mill that bears his name.
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To the Moon and Back: A Revolution in Transportation

This article takes a look at the Transportation Revolution as told through the Blackstone River State Park site. What are the legacies of new and improved ways of moving across the landscape.
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Bicentennial Blues

A lot can happen to a family business in 200 years. The Whitin Machine Works, based out of Whitinsville, Massachusetts, is a prime case study in the rise and fall of the age of American manufacturing. From a small forge in a rural area, the Fletcher and Whitin families created a veritable dynasty along the Mumford River. Starting with basic tools, heirs to this business made an industrial powerhouse.
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The Saylesville Massacre and American Tradition

Protest is fundamentally American. People have expressed dissent through protests from the early years of the American Revolution. A legacy of American protest is still alive and well today. But how do we reckon with a protest that ends in violence? At Blackstone River Valley NHP, rangers have worked with community members to explore the complex legacies of violence that haunt local landscapes. This essay by Ranger Mark takes a closer look at a 1934 strike and its impact.
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A Revolutionary Inheritance

The Reverend Adin Ballou (1803-1890) was known as a “man of peace.”

Raised in the first generation to inherit the American Revolution, Ballou wrestled with big questions of faith throughout his lifetime. Learn about how Ballou reconciled with his own family's legacy of fighting during the War for Independence and his own views of nonviolence.
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Last updated: December 27, 2023

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