American history: Importance and Relevance

History gives us an opportunity to learn about the events that took place decades, centuries ago thereby creating an easier way to comprehend the events of contemporary society. Therefore, history gives us answers to questions like what was the world like? Why is the world the way it is today? There is a saying, “history repeats itself”. Contrary to this popular belief, history can inform society of historical errors, which then serve to inform modern decisions to create a better world. Learning about history is illuminative as it informs one with cross-cultural knowledge which enhances cultural integration.

History equips us with the knowledge to develop logical perspectives on history accounts taught to us, which in turn enables us to create an ideological understanding of occurrences in contemporary society in a sober and critical manner. I lack firsthand knowledge of American history owing to the fact that I student in a different school. Nonetheless, this does not mean that I have learned about it through secondary sources which have enabled me to question it to further comprehend American history. For instance, is it necessary to celebrate Columbus Day? or, Are modern-day politics a reflection of historical political whims? History is a learning platform which if effectively studied can build a better society since it documents both the bad and good, which in turn gives an opportunity for learning. Distorting history whether for good intentions or not consequently distorts the future. Also, ignoring history has the same impact as changing it. Changing history will erase mistakes that ought to be avoided, hence history is core to creating a better society through learning from the mistakes of our forefathers. On the other hand, ignoring history takes away the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made in history.

As a history student, I have a great concern about the prejudiced stories shared by historical authors on print media. Prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492, the Native Americans occupied parts of the modern-day United States. Despite his historical injustices. Abuse, torture, and brutality to the Native Americans, Columbus day is still marked as a holiday in the United States.

Slavery is another contentious issue that was prominent in the 18th century. By the mid-19th century, the United States had over three million slaves. Slavery had grown to become part of American culture. Modern slavery is one thing that intrigues me nowadays. The relationship between insurance companies and slavery is evident. Work without pay to settle debts, bondage, are among the numerous types of slavery that existed during that period aside from forced labor and forced marriages.

The Pre-Columbian Era in the U.S is believed to be a time when Native Americans lived primitively. However, I tend to disagree with this popular belief. Individuals who lived during this era had established themselves as a society with advanced capabilities spanning all sectors of life, from agriculture to leadership. The first thing history teaches us is that actions have consequences. Moreover, history reflects the true nature of society. It is common for us in certain instances to come up with conclusions shaped by small perspectives. This is because our worldviews are restricted to specifics constructs in society, what we read in history books, what we listen to and what we see. History serves to illustrate the reality of truth. The difference between reality and fiction and how the former is a stranger. Most people tend to overlook the reality that history is an account of the past. It is contrary to science as it gives answers to who our forefathers were and the decisions they made, and the outcomes of those decisions. It is contrary to science which studies present occurrences. The article “The Clash of Cultures” gave me a different outlook on life. The author was precise in revealing how history books in the past three decades have shown advancement in terms of historical truth. I anticipated such improvements, how the truth finally shines in the face of lies. However, the excitement brought about by this article is short-lived since contemporize history course books, do not include the input, and significance of Native Americans way of life in American history, that they were engaged in farming and pottery, that they were the first to build pyramids even before the Egyptians. History documents biographies of notable Native Americans but fails to account for their way of life as a tribe, the activities they involved themselves in, among other cultural traditions. The Native American civilizations shaped modern society but the credit was given to people who invaded the lands in the Columbian Era. Why Columbus Day and Thanksgiving are still celebrated as holidays in the United States, still lacks significance in my perspective.

My knowledge of the U.S. constitution leads to me question it critically. To contend the strengths and weaknesses of the constitution. Constitutional change is inevitable. Nonetheless, there are mechanisms put in place to safeguard the constitution from political ideologies and influence from the public. The contemporary society has changed several provisions in the constitution. For instance, the Right to Bear Arms. The constitution is clear on the right to life and how one I entitled to seek happiness. Such constitutional provisions are the foundation of a liberal society where democracy prevails. When the constitution was being drafted, history shows me that focus was put on men. Other gender considerations and groups of people were marginalized. This, however, did not stop the American women from demonstrating to push for recognition of their rights. These movements were prominent in the mid-20th century under Lincoln’s presidency which abolished the slave trade as well as JF Kennedy’s presidency. There has never been a time when women’s rights are more protected and implemented as now. Women have grown to become captains of industry, scientists, educators, all owing to the emancipation. The significance of associations between states without strife in between them is a good outlook. However, when the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Union carried the day. The Civil War took place between 1861 and 1865 within the United States. The Civil War was one of the gruesome wars fought in the United States between the Union (US) and the Confederates. Thirteen states in the southern U.S had decided to take up arms against the Union (US). The Civil War was fueled by slavery. The southern states did not want slavery to stop. As such when anti-slavery political whims were advanced, they sought to secede from the Union (US).

American history has informed on the events that shaped modern-day America. But, I still wonder whether there is significance in developing a link between the lies advanced by history authors for the modern society and the countries facing sanctions and wars advanced by the United States, particularly in the Middle East.

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