History is a subject that never interested me. It really bored me to know about Christopher Columbus and pilgrims and other history Heroes and bad people. It wasn’t until I took US History from a Native American perspective (in college), that I learned to appreciate History and became interested in the subject. After taking this class I’ve come up with my own conclusions of why history is not interesting to many and why many do not find them selves interested in the subject.
In middle school and in high school I was taught by history teachers that Christopher Columbus was a hero. He was a hero because he found America and that’s how it became the land of the free. When in reality he stole this land from Native Americans. These people were viewed barbaric because they sacrificed animals to their Gods, so that they would be blessed with healthy lives and beautiful weather. They would cure the sick with spells and praise their God by doing funny dances. They would wear very little animal skin for clothing but, were half naked. I also was taught in high school that the Indians were evil and did crazy things because that’s just the way they lived. Therefore, when Christopher Columbus found them he tried to make them slaves because they were so barbaric and he also tried to make them believe in the religion that he believed in. Another part of history I was taught was when Hernan Cortes and his Conquistador’s of Spain destroyed a whole civilization in a place now known as Mexico, which was the Aztecs. They said that the Aztecs were crazy and evil because they sacrificed people to their Gods, so they would be given sunlight and good weather for their crops. The Azteca’s believed that the Gods were mad at them when ever they had bad weather and earthquakes. So they would sacrifice their own people in order for the gods to forgive them. Therefore Cortez felt they had to be turned into slaves and convert them into believing in his kind of religion Another person I learned about in my history classes was Hitler the German who tortured and killed Jewish individuals because he said; they deserved it. This piece of history is called the Holocaust. Moreover, I learned about the wars that Americans have been in and what they went through in those times of history. I guess I never was interested in history because all I ever learned about it was the hardships that Americans went through and how Americans became the land of the free, which to me at the time was sad. Who wants to hear or see videos of these bad times Americans went through? I remember how it would truly upset my stomach to watch and hear these things. Besides all that it would just bore me to hear the same stories over and over again. An American hero did this or that for the Americans and if wasn’t for those heroes and bad people, we wouldn’t have what we have today.
I had to take an American history class if I want to some day receive my AS degree in business management. So I took a class that I later had to drop out of because it bored me so much, that I would always fall asleep in. Therefore, I decided to take a history class that was teaching American history from a native Indian’s point of view, I figured maybe this way it won’t be boring to hear the same stories. I was amazed to find out how much history was altered to make certain individuals look like heroes. I was also mad at the fact that I never was taught history, in a correct way. I was taught history that has been altered to make Americans look like the victims and like we were never wrong in making the choices that were made which destroyed others and their ways of living.
The reasons Christopher Columbus, Cortez, and other selfish individuals did those unbelievable actions towards the Indians, was for selfish reasons. Actually the Native Americans were the ones who lived on the so called found land. They are the ones who owned the “American Land” first. The Indians were robbed by Christopher Columbus of their homes, lives, and their freedom. As for the Azteca’s they were invaded by Cortez and his Conquistador’s so, that they could become rich. They made the Aztecs turn into their personal slaves and dig for gold and other precious metals that were located in the Mexico mines. They also raped their women and gave them sexual transmitted diseases which made them very ill and die. These invaders were like a plague that practically took out their whole tribes. This type of history interested me because it didn’t paint the same lovely picture it usually does, instead it educated me with the truth of the ways Americans came to be the land of the free.
I have read that a lot of historians are frustrated how Americans are not interested in their history, but maybe if history books told the stories from everyone’s point of views. Also if authors and historians didn’t alter the truth and make it seem like Americans were not at fault for a lot of their actions, then maybe Americans would appreciate history. Maybe it would interest them like it interests me, now that I have read and learned history, in a way that I have never known it to be. History not altered nor painted as a pretty picture that is the same boring stories that have been published in history books.
In conclusion, I wish I was taught history the way it really was, from history books and high school teachers. I know if I was taught the truth about history then I would have been interested in it and I would have known that Americans, too have made terrible mistakes in the past. This way I would have respect and interest in American history and know that we Americans have made bad decisions but, have moved on by learning from those mistakes.