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American History has Always Been Very Fascinating...it Just Hasn't Been Told Properly

Updated on February 13, 2013

There is no doubt that during your high school years, you dreaded going to your science class thinking that your head will be filled with complex information where it most likely will not have any bearing on your daily lives. I mean, you probably don't even care about science at all. Then there was the dreaded math class that everyone was required to take and pass because you knew that was crucial to your grade and psychologically, it was the defining point on your educational skills. Somehow you thought math was the predictor of how you would succeed in life. While the latter can be true, there is one class that you also dreaded going because it just bored you to death and it really made you think that this class was not going anywhere and not even practical. And that class would be history class, particularly American history.

American history has not gotten a good, solid reputation in recent years. Many people think that history is not very practical in today's society where computers, science, economics, politics and arts and culture rule the day. Also the fact that since globalism is continuing as a rising trend, there is this notion that nationalism and pride to ones own country is not necessary and that it is old fashioned. I can disagree with that.

My time in high school history can be shared with the same attitude description that I have written above. Before I took American history, I was very excited that I would be in that class. I told to myself that I already read some history about the United States and that I was willing to learn more. When I got into the class, it went well and interesting for the first few days. But as the days continued, the lessons started to drag down. We were given lessons on basic events that happened with no particular descriptions on each of the people that were involved of the said events. No interesting facts, none that would make us go "wow". When it came to wars and battles, barely would the teacher be specific on what strategies and tactics the men had to do in order to win the battle. Barely would they explain anything that would counter the basic thinking of the important events from the past. Or worst, they will leave out the facts and simply not tell it to the students at all. My time in American history class has been dreadful and I barely pass the class. It was not just me that didn't make it, but majority of my classmates. The ones that passed that class simply passed it but without valuing the efforts and sacrifices of our forefathers.

But in the middle of my college years, I started to read one book that dealt primarily with American history. It was not a standard college textbook nor did I read it for a class, but I read it with interest and curiosity. This book was an eyeopener. I read page after page non-stop. They were filled with fun facts that was never told in high school or in college. For example, during the early 19th century, a Tennessean named William Walker would go out to the West Coast in San Francisco and become the head of one of the most powerful newspaper media in the city. After that, he would raise up an army of his own and made plans to capture the province of Sonora in Mexico. But it failed and he returned to San Francisco. But this event would be heard in Nicaragua and the people of that country would send him a letter asking for his help on leading their revolution against the Spaniards. Walker easily agreed. So he traveled down to Central America and raised up an army revolutionaries and succeeded in battle. The result made him their first president. A natural born American being president of a foreign country. It only lasted for one year but that kind of story alone would alter my views about American history, leading me to agree that it is fascinating.

American history is never a dull subject to be learned in school and at home. It should be taught at every level no matter where you are. Without learning our history, we can easily lose our identity and give our vulnerability to the ones that want to destroy our country because our values have been shaken. History can show results that have happened in the past where it is similar to the present, and we can learn from it just by studying what our fathers and grandfathers did to achieve results. As the saying always goes, "History repeats itself".

There are many in today's society where high school teachers and college professors want to "teach" American history, but in their own way, the way they want to see it instead of the way it actually happened. As a Christian, my values is being deconstructed by seculars who want to indoctrinate the public into thinking that Christianity was not a big part in shaping the American nation. It's not just my values, but a majority of the Americans who hold the same Christian values. So we need to engage the American public again and to tell them the truth about our rich culture and heritage because that way we can learn from our achievements and mistakes and to cultivate it in our present time.

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    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 

      5 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I very much agree - it's a shame to teach history in a boring way. After all, history is about people, and as the great success of many novels proves, people like to read about people! I enjoyed reading your hub.

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