Mr. Buggé

Why do we study history?

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” -George Santayana.

These words sound like a cliche, and in some ways they may be. However, it is important that you understand America’s past, because you are a part of its future. Today the United States is the sole superpower in the world. Many other nations accuse us of being arrogant, not caring about their culture and forcing our way of life on them. In fact some say we are an empire similar to the British, and Romans before them. How did we become the nation we are today? What brought us to the position where some say we dominate world culture, economics and military power? Were the roots of our success planted in the American Revolution? What role did our Constitution play in the growth of America? Why was slavery such a difficult issue to agree upon? Were we destined to spill the blood of over six hundred thousand Americans in the Civil War? Why did the Supreme Court condone the policy of separate but equal in race relations with African Americans? How did the technological changes in the late nineteenth century affect our economic growth in the twentieth century? What caused such growth to suddenly come crashing down in 1929, triggering one of the worst periods of economic suffering for Americans? Why did the United States wait so long to become involved in World War II? Did Americans and Soviets truly hate each other during the Cold War? What caused President Johnson to escalate the Vietnam War and what was the effect on the American Psyche? What role did Watergate play in American Politics? Was Reagan truly conservative in his approach to the Presidency?

    Over the next ten months you will come to understand the complex set of events that shaped the America we live in today. Through the use of primary source materials, books, videos, films and classroom discussion you will research and answer the simple questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. The end goal is for you to understand our nation’s history and the role that plays in today’s world.

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