Is World History American History?


World history is a vast subject that encompasses the recorded history of human civilization from the beginning of time. It is a subject that helps us understand the evolution of society, culture, and politics across the globe. However, when it comes to the study of world history in America, there is an ongoing debate whether it should be called American history or not.

The Argument for American History:

Those who argue that world history should be called American history believe that America has played a significant role in shaping the modern world. They argue that American values such as democracy and individual freedom have had a significant impact on world events. For example, America’s involvement in World War I and II helped shape global politics and influenced the outcome of both wars.

Moreover, many of America’s cultural exports such as Hollywood movies and rock music have had a significant impact on popular culture around the world. For this reason, some scholars claim that world history should be taught from an American perspective.

The Argument Against American History:

On the other hand, those who disagree with calling world history American history believe that it undermines the contributions of other cultures and nations to human civilization. They argue that by focusing solely on America’s role in shaping world events, we ignore other cultures’ contributions to science, art, literature, and philosophy.

Besides this, they also argue that teaching world history from an American perspective can lead to biases and misconceptions about other cultures. This approach can make students believe that America is superior to other countries in terms of culture and values.

The Importance of Studying World History:

Regardless of whether we call it “American” or “world” history, there is no denying its importance. It helps us understand how human civilization has evolved over time. It shows us how different cultures have interacted with each other and how these interactions have shaped the world we live in today.

Moreover, studying world history can also help us develop a more global perspective. It can help us understand and appreciate different cultures, values, and traditions. In a world where globalization is rapidly increasing, having a global perspective is becoming increasingly important.


In conclusion, whether we call it American history or world history is a matter of debate. However, what is not debatable is the importance of studying history to understand our past and shape our future. By studying history from a global perspective, we can gain a deeper understanding of the world we live in and appreciate its diversity.