The history of The United States includes a wide variety of proud accomplishments and shameful failures – many of which are unknown to, or misunderstood by, most Americans. When I was in public school, a lot of the key events from our history were glossed over or omitted entirely. Some mistakes, tragedies, and crimes from American history were whitewashed over to put them in a more positive light. To make up for these deficiencies, I’ve put together a curriculum of 100 critical events from the social and political history of The United States of America that I believe every American citizen should know about and understand.
Why include the bad with the good? Well, I think it’s important for all Americans, especially those who vote, to understand the mistakes and outright evil acts committed in the past so we can help prevent them from happening again. It’s hard to remain vigilant against tyranny, incompetence, and evil when you aren’t aware that they have all actually happened before. Understanding the actual history of the USA can also help each of us empathize with and understand the points of view coming from historically marginalized people such as Native Americans, women, African Americans, LGBTQ people, and others.
Why Wikipedia? Several reasons: Wikipedia is FREE (although you should donate to ensure its continued survival,) it contains no advertising, its articles are usually well-organized and readable, and it’s updated frequently, so you can keep up with the latest findings around a particular topic. Wikipedia articles are also well-sourced (usually,) so you can follow the links in the “References” section to see where the information comes from and learn more about a topic.
Tip: If you read a lot of articles on Wikipedia, I highly recommend using a free tool like Wikiwand and its browser extension (available for Chrome and Firefox) to make the articles more readable and attractive.
100 Social and Political Events From American History You Should Know
Without further ado, here are the 100 topics from the history of The United States of America that I think all American citizens should know and understand. I selected these particular events because they made American culture what it is today. Understanding these events will help every American know why the country is the way it is, and why certain institutions, government agencies, and cultural practices do or do not exist.