Is High School American History Required?

For many high school students, American History is a required course. However, there has been some debate about whether or not it should be mandatory. In this article, we’ll explore the arguments for and against requiring American History in high school curriculum.

Arguments For Requiring American History

Cultural Significance
American History is an integral part of the country’s culture and identity. Understanding the events and people that shaped America can help students form a deeper connection with their country and feel more invested in its future.

Preparation for Civic Life
Studying American History can prepare students for civic life by teaching them about political systems, civic duties, and rights. This knowledge can help them become informed citizens who are capable of participating in democracy and making informed decisions.

Employers often look for candidates who have a strong understanding of history because it shows that they have critical thinking skills and an ability to analyze complex information. Studying American History can give students an advantage when looking for jobs in fields like law, politics, or journalism.

Arguments Against Requiring American History

Narrow Curriculum Focus
Requiring American History means that other important subjects may be left out of the curriculum. Students may miss out on learning about other cultures, global issues, or scientific advancements if too much time is spent on American History.

Misrepresentations and Biases
American History has often been taught from a Eurocentric perspective that ignores or minimizes the contributions of marginalized groups like women, people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and indigenous peoples. This lack of representation can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and biases.

Disinterest Among Students
Not all students are interested in history or feel a connection to the subject matter. Requiring them to study something they find uninteresting may lead to disengagement and a lack of motivation to learn.


In conclusion, the decision to require American History in high school curriculum is a complex one with valid arguments on both sides. While it’s important for students to understand their country’s past, it’s also crucial that the curriculum is diverse and inclusive. Ultimately, the best approach may be to offer American History as an option rather than a requirement, while ensuring that other important subjects are still being taught.