Facts About American History
George Washington was the first President of a country that loved democracy, and the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 American revolution. Both of these occurrences are well-known in the course of American history. But there’s a wealth of secret past nuggets and the American Revolution you may not know about. There are nine of them here.
1. George Washington’s Significance:
If kids can’t find out why Lincoln was important, you’d at least think they can understand why our very first president in American History was an influential leader. Nope. Nope. In the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Development, just 23 percent of the fourth graders were able to point out their position as the first U.S. President, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, involvement in the Constitutional Convention, or his role in the French and Indian Wars. Twenty-four percent answered incorrectly, 45 percent earned partial credit, and 7 percent did not even attempt to respond.
2. The Columbian Exchange: Contributions and Consequences
At the time of Columbus’ arrival, there were possibly about 1.5 million American Indians in the continental United States, although estimates differ significantly. Within decades, multitudes of these native Americans died, not because of violent conflicts with Europeans with superior weapons (though this has also happened), but because of the onslaught of new diseases brought from Europe, which their bodies could not combat. Smallpox took a heavy toll in particular. Beyond this physical assault, the Europeans introduced horses, goats, sheep, coffee, cane, and wheat to North America.
At the same time, the American Indians had an essential impact on the civilization transplanted from Europe to the New World. Indian food and spices, items of manufacturing, methods of growing those crops, techniques of war, vocabulary, and affluent folklore are among the most evident general contributions of the Indians to their European conquerors. Unfortunately, the protracted and violent Westward conflict sparked by “white” expansionism and Indian resistance will be one of the most devastating chapters in U.S. history, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. There are also many more consequences of the American and french revolution.
3. The Purpose of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
In 2010, the fourth graders were given a map of U.S. expansion and asked why Thomas Jefferson had sent Lewis and Clark on their expedition. Fifty percent of students were unable to correctly recognize that they had been sent to collect information on land for settlement.
4. Plains Indians
After the introduction of the horse to America by the Spanish conquistadors, life for the Indians of the Plains changed drastically. By 1750 horses had become increasingly popular in the Plains and had greatly improved human mobility and productivity in the area. Many Indians who lived in villages and practiced agriculture became committed nomads, including Crow Sioux, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Comanche, Arapaho, and Kiowa. Groups in the area had many common types of material culture, including tepee, tailored leather clothing, several combat royalties (such as feathered headdresses), and large drums used in ceremonial contexts. Sun Dance, a practice that requested a high degree of piety and self-sacrifice from its participants, has also been found in most of the Plains.
5. What JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you” speech meant
While 50 percent of fourth-graders were able to recognize that JFK’s “Ask not” address was meant to inspire people to put their expertise to use in the U.S., another 50 percent did not. Forty-eight percent of students did not receive the correct answer, and two percent did not answer the question. This was one of the most famous speeches in American History.
6. Spiritual Life and Worldview
At the heart of Indian life was the idea that all nature was alive, interwoven, and interdependent in a single spiritual universe that included humans (live and dead), plants and rocks, the moon and the sun, evil and good. In visions and challenging physical tasks, as well as through solo vision searches and group practices such as the Sun Dance, spiritual insight was pursued. Health men and women served as healers and spiritual counselors. The notion of collaboration was equally crucial to the Indian worldview. The patient’s search for understanding, accommodation, and agreement was under the presumption of observance of tradition in American History.
7. The best presidents in history:
To be sure, a list of the best U.S. presidents in American History is a subjective one, but the 2008 Harris poll showed that public opinions are entirely out of the question. It turns out that students and the general public are much more likely to list the ones they’re familiar with from their own lives than the real ‘greatness.’ When compared against the lists that most historians have, they were entirely different.
8. First Americans: Nomenclature
The word “Indian” for Indigenous Americans originated from Columbus. Thinking that he had arrived in Asia, with dreams of the Indus valleys dancing in his mind, Columbus named “Indios” those he met in the New World. The anglicized version of the name was stuck. Activists in the United States and Canada did not like the sound of “American Indian” in the 1960s. Not only was it a misnomer, but it also had racial connotations, they claimed.
‘America,’ the original name for the Western Hemisphere, was derived from the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who, unlike Columbus, discovered that his journeys west were indeed a new [European] world. ‘Native American’ quickly became the preferred term of reference, although many indigenous peoples living north of the Rio Grande continued to refer to themselves as Indians.
By the end of the 20th century, native peoples around the world had started to allow others to use tribal self-names whenever possible. Today, in the U.S., many indigenous people have tended to refer to Native Americans as Indians in general.
9. How Native Americans were affected by European settlers
It seems that students have a hard time recognizing the effect that settlers have had on native Americans: just 8 percent of fourth grade students answered this question correctly in the 2010 NAEP. Thirty-nine percent of students exchanged insufficient responses, and 32 percent earned only partial credit.