What Should Be Taught in American History?

American History is a vast and complex subject that encompasses centuries of events and people that have shaped this great nation. It is important to understand the key events, individuals, and concepts that have shaped American society and culture. In this article, we will explore the most important topics that should be taught in American History.

Colonial America

One of the most important periods in American History is the colonial era. This period includes the arrival of European settlers in North America, their interactions with Native Americans, and the establishment of 13 colonies. Students should learn about the reasons for colonization, such as religious freedom or economic opportunities, as well as the impact of colonization on Native Americans.

The Revolutionary War

The Revolutionary War was a turning point in American history. Students should learn about the causes and events leading up to the war, including taxation without representation and Boston Tea Party. They should also understand how key figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson played a crucial role in shaping America’s future.

The Civil War

The Civil War was another pivotal moment in American history. Students should learn about slavery’s impact on America’s economy and society leading up to it, as well as key battles such as Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Additionally, they should study Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction after the war.

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution brought significant changes to America’s economy and society. Students should learn about key inventions such as cotton gin by Eli Whitney; how industrialization led to urbanization; working conditions for laborers; child labor laws passed because of them; immigration patterns during this time period- including from China- which helped build railroads across country but also led to anti-immigrant sentiment among many Americans.

The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement was one of the most significant eras in American history. Students should learn about key figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X and their contributions to the movement. They should also understand the impact of landmark events like Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Cold War

The Cold War was a time of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union which lasted for decades after World War II. Students should learn about key events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, McCarthyism, and fall of Berlin Wall. They should also understand how this period shaped America’s foreign policy for years to come.


American History is a complex subject that covers a wide range of topics and periods. It is important for students to learn about key events, people, and concepts that have shaped America into what it is today. By studying these topics in depth, students can gain a better understanding of our nation’s past and how it has influenced our present-day society.