The Patriot is a movie based on the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), the war fought between Great Britain and the thirteen colonies of the North American continent. In this war on American soil the colonists fought for independence from Europe and King George III’s criticized rule. The Patriot takes on this topic through the character Benjamin Martin, played by actor Mel Gibson, who is based on the Revolutionary War militia leader Francis “The Swamp Fox” Marion. The movie also features a few battles actually fought in the war and weapons used in the war. Although the movie displays actual events, people, and objects that occurred and existed during the war, there are historical points changed to satisfy the audience of the theater.
In all battles of the movie there are a few objects displayed incorrectly. The cannon is a piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other propellants to launch a given projectile. The cannon was first used in China but was then incorporated in standard military by the Revolutionary War. The cannon’s effectiveness in battle led to its constant use in battle. The weaponry in all of the battles shown in the movie included the cannon; however in the movie most projectiles exploded at impact. By that time of the war exploding projectiles have not yet been invented; cannons at the time were used to mow through the ranks of the opponent. Due to this, it is impossible for those projectiles shot from the cannon to have exploded at impact. One other inaccuracy was that, in The Patriot, the continental soldiers were seen carrying the “Betsy Ross” flag into battle. In reality there was no standard-issue flag for the men to carry so flags with slogans and symbols relating to a region were carried instead. Knowing this, the Americans carrying the red, white, and blue flag into battle was a good attempt at showing the patriotism of the continental army but historically inaccurate. The use of cannons and the carrying of flags in The Patriot were accurate but the functions shown in the movie weren’t.
The battles shown in The Patriot were actual battles fought in the American Revolutionary War, but have a few historical inaccuracies as well. There is a scene when Benjamin Martin and his son watch the continental army retreat from their ranks as Tarleton charges them with cavalry. In reality the Battle of Camden was fought with two thirds of the continental army being made up militia. Therefore, instead of official continental soldiers fleeing it should have been militia. In the final battle of the movie, the militia alone kept the British soldiers from moving North. In the Battle of Cowpens the militia actually received help from Washington’s dragoons as Tarleton pursues fleeing militia. The militia alone didn’t have the strength to fend off Tarleton’s force of dragoons. The battles shown in the move were actual battles that were fought, but the detail was off.
Finally, one big misconception in the movie was the...