A Peoples History of America
Not the way you learned it in school

A History Of America

"American history" refers to both a history of America and an overall history of the US. It is a commonly accepted definition. "American history" as used in this context means the history written about America, by Americans. The best known and most complete example of a history of America is the United States itself. This book can be found in any good college library. (The bibliography may also be a good source for locating other works on the same subject.) For more general information about American history, check out various websites on the internet. One thing every student needs to know about American history is that it was, contrary to what many people believed, not primarily about anything having to do with race. Slavery was a much larger problem in the US than in Europe, and there were no major slave insurrections anywhere in the country. Slavery, and the institution of slavery itself, was an ongoing argument throughout the Constitution Convention of 1787. The final document adopted by the convention did not include any mention of slavery. (Voting against the Constitution was more than a matter of "following the letter of the law," since the Constitution was largely a matter of interpretation.)Another important element of American history is the civil rights movement. Beginning in the mid 1960s, African Americans began to demand equal rights with all other Americans. In many areas of American history, these rights appeared to be denied to African Americans. (Enforcement of these rights seemed to depend on local authorities. Enforcement depended largely upon local white vigilantes, who acted as de facto police officers.)Today, same-sex marriage is legal in all states of the Union. (There are a few states, including Oregon, that still allow discrimination against gay men. There are no laws or statutes that define same-sex marriage. Similarly, there are no federal laws or statutes that prevent employers from firing someone for being gay.) Some people feel that the inclusion of this issue in American history is a proof that our nation is not ready for gay rights, though other people would disagree. Two developments in recent American history have led to the inclusion of gay rights in American history. The first was the ending of Jim Crow's practice of white plantation labor. The second was the Civil Rights Movement. Many white Americans were angered by the treatment of black Americans during the former days of Jim Crow, so they went to the steps of the government to demand that these blacks be allowed to continue their labor practices. This led to the second segment of American history. Gay civil rights, and the history of gay civil rights, are another part of American history that many people have very strong opinions about. Many Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. To them, there can be no discussion. The only way to deal with a problem like this is to boycott, ban, or even arrest those who participate in same-sex sexual activities. On the other hand, some non-fundamentalists feel that it's just wrong to persecute those who choose to behave differently from what society thinks is acceptable. There are many things that Americans have a lot of opinions about, especially when it comes to their own history. A lot of people like to pretend that the US was created equal. Others believe that slavery is terrible and that's the reason we have a black President. Still others think that the country was formed by a group of immigrants from England and that the US is, as a whole, an amalgam of different cultures. As for who invented America, there is plenty of disagreement among Americans on that topic too.