What Should I Watch to Learn American History?

If you’re looking to learn more about American history, you have plenty of options. From books to documentaries and even TV shows, there’s no shortage of resources available to help you expand your knowledge on the subject. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best options for learning about American history that you can watch right now.


One of the best ways to learn about American history is through documentaries. These films offer a unique perspective on historical events and often include interviews with experts and eyewitnesses. Here are a few documentaries that are worth watching:

  • The Civil War by Ken Burns: This acclaimed documentary series covers the major events of the Civil War and includes interviews with historians and readings from letters and diaries of those who lived through it.
  • America: The Story of Us: This 12-part series covers American history from the colonial period to modern times, highlighting key events and figures along the way.
  • The Vietnam War by Ken Burns: This documentary series covers one of America’s most controversial wars, including interviews with veterans and Vietnamese citizens.


Movies can also be a great way to learn about American history, as they bring historical events to life in a way that’s both engaging and informative. Here are some movies that are both entertaining and educational:

  • Selma: This movie tells the story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign for equal voting rights in Alabama in 1965.
  • Lincoln: Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln, this movie focuses on his efforts to pass the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.
  • The Imitation Game: Although not strictly about American history, this movie tells the story of Alan Turing and his team of codebreakers who helped win World War II.

TV Shows

TV shows can be a great way to learn about American history, as they often cover specific events or time periods in detail. Here are some TV shows that are worth checking out:

  • John Adams: This mini-series follows the life of John Adams, one of America’s founding fathers and the second president of the United States.
  • The Crown: Although it’s not strictly about American history, this series offers a fascinating look at the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and its impact on the United Kingdom and the world.
  • The Americans: Set during the Cold War, this series follows two KGB agents posing as a married couple in suburban Washington, D.C.


Whether you prefer documentaries, movies or TV shows, there are plenty of options available if you want to learn more about American history. By watching these films and series, you’ll gain a better understanding of key events and figures that have shaped America’s past and present. So grab some popcorn and start watching!