The prospective deal to buy the Dominoes Pizza and the Four Star Market on land where the Battle of Franklin was fought presents the way forward for historical preservation.
The days when the federal government will cordon off huge tracts of land (ex. Gettysburg) for eternity are long gone. Now, governments are hungry for the jobs and tax money coming from development. That is why the potential deal by the Franklin's Charge organization in Tennessee and similar work done by the CWPT are very important. Further historical preservation will henceforward be the preserve of private groups. Organizations like the CWPT will always be in a race with or against developers. Governments will either be neutral powers or antagonists (ex. the Wilderness Wal Mart).
When government does get involved, economic arguments will have to predominate. The Franklin's Charge people have it right. They are presenting their purchase as a means of promoting "heritage tourism." That is the argument we will have to use in all future preservation battles. Pleas to preserve our history will simply be swamped by the forces of development and consumption. The vast majority of people live in the very present and you can't eat or purchase history. We have to use monetary arguments to defeat the power of money.
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