Americans and Others Don't Know or Care About Their History

One of the real problems in both the U.S. and Canadian education, both at home and at school, is the fact that many people, perhaps even our President, have little or no knowledge of the history of the nation, adjoining nations or the world. In temple there is worry that children will not carry the magnitude of the Shoah, or Holocaust with them.

Nationally, the schools have been de-emphasizing or, to coin a word “de-heroing” the Revolutionary War, because of the understandable concern that no account in “traditional” teachings was taken of the abuse of black slaves or Native Americans. Thus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (whom I have other problems with), James Madison and James Monroe have been cut down to “size” because of their slave ownership. Andrew Jackson because of this mistreatment of Native Americans. So the simple expedient is to either eliminate teaching of history or make it stilted and boring.

Similarly, I have met Canadian schoolteachers who do not know of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham or its British general Wolfe or French general Montcalm. How can they teach it if they don’t know it. Perhaps the concern is mistreatment of the French or the later mistreatment of First Nations (their equivalent of Native Americans). Same result as in the U.S.

If people don’t know history, how can they make informed judgments about the present. Thoughts?

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I don’t know a single person who was educated in MY era who wasn’t aware of slavery, mistreatment of Indians or any of the other “stains” on American history. However, none of that negates the extraordinary brilliance of our founders. Washington and Jefferson BOTH freed their slaves on their respective deathbeds…long before the abolitionist movement got rolling to any great extent. Both were politicians and manumission in their lifetimes would have spelled the end of their political careers in that era. Try to remember that the institution of slavery has existed since LONG before (and during) the time of Christ and involved EVERY race on the planet at one time or another. It STILL exists right here in the U.S. WE call it “welfare” and the only difference between it and the old system is that we don’t require the slaves’ “labor”…just their votes.

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Boy, ain’t this the truth!!!
Specifically the last sentence.

The best education I got was on my own and doing my genealogy. Outside of my grandparents, I knew nothing about my roots. What I found, was when I would locate an ancestor, I would do a lot of reading around the history of where they lived and what their lives were like. It made me appreciate the stock I came from and my understanding of the country at that time. I have gone all the way back to the 1600’s. I had an ancestor who came from Amsterdam as a ships carpenter. He lived in New Amsterdam, which is now New York. Another one was a Scottish Highlander that came to fight in the seven years war in the 1700’s before the Revolutionary war.

None of my ancestors had slaves, (that I can find) and most of them were the pioneers and the fabric that helped build the country.

Everyone should do this. It makes you feel like you can identify with the times and the heart of the people, and there is an admiration for just how hard it was, and how people today take everything for granted. Instead of appreciating what they have and where they live, they want to tear the country down.

The husband of a distant relative did a lot of research on both his and her side of the family. He came across my name on the internet, and had heard there was some connection (this was my mother’s side of the family). He contacted me and gave me a lot of the info he had - detailed from my great-grandfather down. The ancestor with the family name came in 1793 and was a missionary among the Indians. I bought a book about the Indian missions started by another man, because my ancestor was mentioned in that book. That same ancestor was married to a woman whose parents arrived in the New World earlier. It was her grandfather who arrived in this country in about 1732, and his son - her father - was wagonwright to George Washington during the American Revolution.

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I had one that was a circuit rider. He traveled across several states preaching in rural districts, in cabins and even to slaves. Sometimes there would be outdoor revivals or camp meetings where people came for miles and camped out to hear the preachers.

The first of my ancestors was the eldest great-grandson of Sir Thomas Garrard, King’s Baronet, though his great grandson apparently got religion and changed his last name to a biblical one–Jared–listed in Genesis as Methuselah’s grandfather. It was misspelled several times as “Iarred” in other documents. He is listed by the First Virginia Company of Jamestown as “one of those left behind when the ships returned to England in 1607.” He was a bricklayer. A descendant, John, became a wagon maker, too, who was born in 1837. I had always thought that John was my FIRST recorded ancestor in the US, but he wasn’t. I found out the truth when I came across a 1963 book which outlined John’s descendants–of which I am one. I’m also mentioned in that book.

Our church still has “regular” camp meetings. But they have cabins and dormitories, and some people bring trailers. They have a permanent “tabernacle.”

In the town where I currently attend church, there is an old camp ground from the denomination I grew up in. There is a rather rustic tabernacle - although they have updated it a bit, cutting out about half of the old open-air windows (they are closed by a hinged “door” that opens downward), and they have put siding on it. They no longer have the camp meetings. It used to be a “district” center, and now I think they have camp meetings only at the “conference” center. The church I am in now has camp meetings at the district center, but the “district” in this denomination is more or less the equivalent of the “conference” in the church I grew up in.

Anyway, they used to set up tents all around the campground (they had army surplus tents), and people would bring their own furnishings. They also had a small dormitory above the kitchen (which was in the back of the local church, which is still used regularly). Later on, they built a large dining hall with a dormitory above it.

Anyway, I often spent the 10 days of camp meeting in one of those tents. There were actually gas lines, and some people had little gas heaters in the tents. Even though it was usually late June and early July, it could get a little nippy in those tents at night. Some people brought lumber and built floors in their tents.

They can’t, and are doomed to repeat its mistakes.

If you don’t know why this country exists, and how it came to be, you are very likely not to appreciate how truly special it is.
Or should I say, was. :frowning:

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On O’Reilly last night, the segment; “Watter’s World” was in Union Square and asked a guy in his twenties; “what country did we declare our independence from?”, and he replied; “Philadelphia?”

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:Thud:

But I’m fairly certain that they don’t film all the the people who got it right.
Ukrania! Right?

This is from 2010

A Marist poll finds that 26 percent of Americans don’t know whom the United States declared its independence from.

1 in 4 Americans Don’t Know Who We Fought for Independence | NBC New York

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My father was adopted, so it’s not easy to know about his lineage, but I was close enough to him to know more about his upbringing than most of my siblings do. They wonder how I know all this stuff. Well, it helps to sit and have a chat with the guy now and then.

My mother’s side, most from Ireland, and came quite successful in due time.

I really don’t care. I know who I am, what I believe in, and it had little to nothing to do with either of them, other than being brought up to know right from wrong.
My ancestry? I don’t much care.
You never would’ve heard me say that ten years ago.

But I will say this much. Those ads for ancestry dot com make me about want to gag.

My paternal family were French ship captains, and had a substantial fleet. During the French Revolution, they relocated to land granted by the King of France in Louisiana and were founding fathers of one of the major cities in the area. We were here before the Louisiana purchase.

[quote=“Pappadave, post:2, topic:46687”]
I don’t know a single person who was educated in MY era who wasn’t aware of slavery, mistreatment of Indians or any of the other “stains” on American history. However, none of that negates the extraordinary brilliance of our founders. Washington and Jefferson BOTH freed their slaves on their respective deathbeds…long before the abolitionist movement got rolling to any great extent. Both were politicians and manumission in their lifetimes would have spelled the end of their political careers in that era. Try to remember that the institution of slavery has existed since LONG before (and during) the time of Christ and involved EVERY race on the planet at one time or another. It STILL exists right here in the U.S. WE call it “welfare” and the only difference between it and the old system is that we don’t require the slaves’ “labor”…just their votes.
[/quote]Also exists in the Islamosphere. And a politically incorrect fact that is rarely mentioned is that most slaves were sold to British slave traders by Muslims. The shipmates didn’t run into the jungle and catch people.

[quote=“2cent, post:13, topic:46687”]
My father was adopted, so it’s not easy to know about his lineage, but I was close enough to him to know more about his upbringing than most of my siblings do. They wonder how I know all this stuff. Well, it helps to sit and have a chat with the guy now and then.
[/quote]My natural father died when I was 15. I already knew that his “knowledge” of his ancestry was incorrect when he had told me it was Hungarian but older family members told me it was Czech.[/quote]

[quote=“2cent, post:13, topic:46687”]
My mother’s side, most from Ireland, and came quite successful in due time.
[/quote]My maternal grandmother’s side came from modern Ukraine. They were deserters from the Czar’s army. My maternal grandfather, I believe, came from Poland. Their name was bolixed up at Ellis Island and went from Gordon to Rosenfeld. Fortunately they were Jewish so no harm done.

[quote=“2cent, post:13, topic:46687”]
I really don’t care. I know who I am, what I believe in, and it had little to nothing to do with either of them, other than being brought up to know right from wrong.
My ancestry? I don’t much care. You never would’ve heard me say that ten years ago.
[/quote]My ancestors, when they came over, wanted nothing to do with their “mother countries.” Continental Europe has been, for centuries, a miserable place and deathtrap for the Jews. They did not maintain contact. One of the problems we’re having with our immigrants is that they do keep in touch with their prior countries. Thus they are sometimes not fully devoted to America.

But I will say this much. Those ads for ancestry dot com make me about want to gag.[/QUOTE]What is the problem with those ads? I find them quite neutral.

I wish; PA would be a red state if that happened…

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2cent

Those ads for ancestry dot com make me about want to gag.

JBG

What is the problem with those ads? I find them quite neutral.

Maybe that came out stronger than I meant it to be. One’s a bit on the overly oohey goohey side, the other puts on an aahccent that I could stand to live without.

I’ve never seen them - of course, not having had TV for many years, that’s natural. I’m a member of Ancestry.com, although I don’t go there often. What I have accomplished through it is the location of several (relatively local) relatives of whom I had never heard before. I’m also a member of “AncientFaces.com”, and, once again, not very active, but it is through that that I “met” the gentleman who had done a great deal of research on the ancestry of my mother’s family (his wife’s family, also), and from whom I got the info about my Moravian ancestor who was a missionary to the American Indians.

I used to have a membership on Ancestry. But after I pretty much exhausted my family trees, I would go to Genforum and look up stuff for other people. There are other sites you can use too. One is Rootsweb and another is Familysearch.