History of the Americas

History of the Americas

History of the Americas

History of the Americas

Excerpt

The time has come for a broader course in American history, to supplement the type of course in national history traditionally given. European history cannot be learned from books dealing alone with England or France or Germany, nor can American history be adequately taught if confined to the United States or Brazil or Canada or Mexico. Most present-day political boundary lines in America are of recent origin; culture and commerce quite generally ignore them. In this country the study of thirteen English colonies and the United States in isolation has obscured many of the larger factors in their development. Similar distortion has resulted from the teaching of national history alone in other American countries. The day of isolation is past. The increasing importance of inter-American relations makes imperative a better understanding by each of the history and culture of all. This is so patent that it needs no demonstration, and for the future I foresee two types of college courses in American history: an introductory, synthetic course, embracing the entire Western Hemisphere, analogous to courses in general European history; and courses on the traditional lines, dealing with the history of the United States or of any other individual American nation.

One shortcoming of the usual first-year college course in United States history given in this country is that it covers essentially the same ground as the courses taught in the grammar grades and again in the high school. It lacks freshness. This element of freshness is admirably provided by a synthetic . . .

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