What Does Pre-Conquest Britain Have to Do with Me?
The most popular eras for reenacting in the United States are the American Civil War, the American War of Independence and other quintessentially American eras of history. Many reenactors do these eras to honor the sacrifices of the soldiers of these eras, because ancestors were active during these eras or for other personal and patriotic reasons. For the most part medieval reenactment in the States has remained rather limited, less accurate and more fantastic.
At first glance, this seems to be natural. There is more documentation available, some within a reenactor's own family. There are few medieval sites in North America, so that reenactments are more limited. Many reenactors, more used to celebrating American independence from European culture, cannot see how European culture has any real influence on American culture.
That is changing. Many medieval reenactors are becoming more involved in serious living history. Although most serious American reenactors are still more interested in recreating American history, this is slowly changing and people are realizing how integral other history is to the formation of the United States. American culture was not created in a vacuum, and it certainly has not developed in isolation either. By recreating European medieval history, Americans are actually paying tribute to those forces which molded American culture.
Regia Anglorum--"Kingdom of the English"--was formed in the United Kingdom in 1986, and it expanded to include North America at the start of this century. It prides itself as one of the best living-history groups in the world and maintains a high degree of accuracy, safety and other standards. It is involved with rebated-steel combat, with period arts, with educating the public, with fostering camaraderie and with having fun as it does all those things. The North American branches do no less!