What are you taught about the American Revolution, the War of 1812, or the Civil War? Watch

mryang20
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As an American, I'm curious on what the British may know about any of America's early history, from the founding of the Thirteen Colonies to the American Civil War. What do you know of Jamestown or the Puritans? What do you know about the Seven Year's War in the American theatre? What do you know about the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? What do you know about the Civil War, and the British people's support of the Union vs. the British government's (slight) favor of the Confederates?
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by mryang20)
As an American, I'm curious on what the British may know about any of America's early history, from the founding of the Thirteen Colonies to the American Civil War. What do you know of Jamestown or the Puritans? What do you know about the Seven Year's War in the American theatre? What do you know about the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? What do you know about the Civil War, and the British people's support of the Union vs. the British government's (slight) favor of the Confederates?
Tbh not a lot.

I left school some time ago so thing shave changed but history at school tends to cover the Roman Empire, the industrial revolution, the corn las, trade unionism, first and second world wars etc.

I've yet to meet an American though who didn't understand that Britain was fighting a global
World war in 1812 and was on the verge of invasion.


I do however recommend that every body watches ken burns, the civil war.
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Drewski
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(Original post by mryang20)
As an American, I'm curious on what the British may know about any of America's early history, from the founding of the Thirteen Colonies to the American Civil War. What do you know of Jamestown or the Puritans? What do you know about the Seven Year's War in the American theatre? What do you know about the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? What do you know about the Civil War, and the British people's support of the Union vs. the British government's (slight) favor of the Confederates?
We are taught about our civil war, but not about anyone else's (you've fallen for the typical American mistake of assuming your thing is the only thing - it isn't).

Some people know reasonable amounts about all of them. But they are people who've gone out of their way to learn about it themselves. Nothing is taught in schools.

Frankly, we have rather a lot of history... It's hard to teach all of it.
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Simes
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(Original post by mryang20)
As an American, I'm curious on what the British may know about any of America's early history, from the founding of the Thirteen Colonies to the American Civil War. What do you know of Jamestown or the Puritans? What do you know about the Seven Year's War in the American theatre? What do you know about the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? What do you know about the Civil War, and the British people's support of the Union vs. the British government's (slight) favor of the Confederates?
The history I did at school covered the exploration of the planet and in particular the conquistadors and the conquest of the Americas.

We were taught about the number of attempts to found colonies, the rush to claim land and how various countries fought over the various territories.

We were taught that a number of new post-renaissance sects were formed who saw the Americas as somewhere they could worship in their own way and headed there. Not just Puritans.

The curriculum ended there.

The Seven Years War - nothing

American Revolution - can't avoid hearing about it frequently.

War of 1812 - of little significance to us, we were busy with bigger matters elsewhere. It was an inconvenience. The USA's support of Napolean at that time was unhelpful to us.

The Civil War - a poorly managed compromise about balancing slave-owning v non-slave-owning states resulted in a power struggle that quickly descended into civil war. The slavery issue was, to some extent, an excuse for the war as much as a reason. It would have happened anyway. As for supporting one side or the other, it would have been in our interest to support both sides - it does not get mentioned much, if at all. The American Civil War did not happen here so it's not of much interest.

Why should American history be taught here? We're still not quite Airstrip One.
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Docjones1
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In school? Absolutely nothing
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DJKL
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School, virtually nothing except Lord North lost us the colonies.

University a fair bit, but that was because I took American History 2 as part of my degree. Having said that the 1812 war was hardly covered, Civil war (or rather build up and consequences) covered in more detail, Revolution possibly covered in a little depth but as I did not write an essay on it then I suspect my reading never went much beyond,

A Concise History Of The American Republic Hardcover – 1979
by S E, Commager, H S & Leuchtenburg, W E Morrison

Two copies of which still grace our bookcases (my wife took same course)

But university type education tends to mean you cover certain parts in depth re essays and other parts in a fairly superficial manner, so outbreak/causes civil war I read a fair bit, New Deal I read a fair bit, labour issues for the early colonies (indenture etc) I read a fair bit. My wife seems to have spent more of her time covering Manifest Destiny and westward expansion hence her obsession with Westerns (Currently Hell on Wheels)

To really gauge our views on your revolution you possibly ought to read the following:

John Cleese’s “Letter to America”
15
02
2008

Originally uploaded by Browserd.
Dear Citizens of America,

In view of your failure to elect a competent President and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths and other territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy), as from Monday next.

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should look up “revocation” in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up “aluminium,” and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour’, ‘favour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix “ize” will be replaced by the suffix “ise.”

3. You will learn that the suffix ‘burgh’ is pronounced ‘burra’; you may elect to spell Pittsburgh as ‘Pittsberg’ if you find you simply can’t cope with correct pronunciation.

4. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels (look up “vocabulary”). Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as “like” and “you know” is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication.

5. There is no such thing as “US English.” We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of “-ize.”

6. You will relearn your original national anthem, “God Save The Queen”,
but only after fully carrying out Task #1 (see above).

7. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. November 2nd will
be a new national holiday, but to be celebrated only in England. It will be called “Come-Uppance Day.”

8. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you’re not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you’re not grown up enough to handle a gun.

9. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

10. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

11. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric immediately and without the benefit of conversion tables… Both roundabouts and metrification will help you understand the British sense of humour.

12. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling “gasoline”) – roughly $8/US per gallon. Get used to it.

13. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call french fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called “crisps.” Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with malt vinegar.

14. Waiters and waitresses will be trained to be more aggressive with customers.

15. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as “beer,” and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as “Lager.” American brands will be referred to as “Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine,” so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

16. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors as English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” was an experience akin to having one’s ear removed with a cheese grater.

17. You will cease playing American “football.” There is only one kind of proper football; you call it “soccer”. Those of you brave enough, in time, will be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American “football”, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a
bunch of Jessies – English slang for “Big Girls Blouse”).

18. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the “World Series” for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable and forgiven.

19. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.

20. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due, backdated to 1776.

Thank you for your co-operation.
John Cleese
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gladders
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(Original post by mryang20)
As an American, I'm curious on what the British may know about any of America's early history, from the founding of the Thirteen Colonies to the American Civil War. What do you know of Jamestown or the Puritans? What do you know about the Seven Year's War in the American theatre? What do you know about the American Revolution, or the War of 1812? What do you know about the Civil War, and the British people's support of the Union vs. the British government's (slight) favor of the Confederates?
To be honest, not a whole lot. Most Brits are friendly to Americans and if you asked them about the Revolution, they'd see it as a shame that our countries parted ways but would likely see the American cause in the war as the right one.

I think the omission of the Revolution in our history lessons isn't because we pretend it didn't happen (impossible when American shows dominate our airways), but because that period of history is particularly crowded for our history. Within a few years we were knee-deep in fighting Napoleon, which had a far more immediate impact on the country. The War of 1812 is entirely ignored for the same reason - a complete sideshow for us at the time.

Same with the Puritans - people know they left for the New World, but we mostly consider them for their impact on our Civil Wars and their king-killing. The French and Indian War (and the Seven Years' War, actually) is generally ignored as not essential for schoolchildren to learn about. I know some stuff about it even now, but not a whole lot, and predominantly from the perspective of the UK, and not a lot about the colonial front.

The American Civil War, now that does get attention, as it's relatively recent and has an interesting, classic good v evil vibe! You may find that being taught in schools.
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Canucked
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I went to school in England until I was in my early teens. I did six months of school in the US and finished my last years in Canada. It would make little sense for American history to be taught in British schools. It was one colony among many British colonies and not particularly significant. Then it sought independence at a time when Britain had more important problems that required the bulk of her resources. Then it was an ex colony and not a major player on the International stage. Until WW2, the US didn't have a big impact outside of it's borders.

Canada probably has the most American history included in their own history outside of the US. Canadian school children learn 4 things about American history. 13 colonies, American Loyalists, War of 1812, slavery. It's taught because these things had direct impact on Canadians.

Canadian history focuses on First Nations and Inuit. Their tribes and customs and beliefs. The Portuguese in the Maritime provinces. French settlement. Fur Trade and the coureur des bois.The French and Indian Wars. The Seven Years War. Waves of immigration. Settling the west. Confederation. The Mounties. It's easy to think coming from the UK that there isn't much history to cover when a country is 'young'. But there is a lot of history to cover from before Europeans reaching North America.
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