One of the worst errors I remember from my “schooling” was the tendency to treat “American” (IE: United States) history/culture in isolation. Quite frankly, this gets to the root of much of what is wrong with (especially U.S.) “schooling”:
NATIONALISM, and “schooling” as “social” engineering
I can’t help it: I have always found the “Pledge of Allegiance” to be extremely grating. Quite frankly, there are valid — hell, unassailable — reasons why everyone should find it offensive:
- It was originally devised by an avowed socialist
- The “salute” accompanying it was (virtually) indistinguishable from that used by the NAZIS
Now, I’ve always found it more than a bit strange that “Right-wingers” tend to get all choked up over something originally created by a socialist, and accompanied by THIS:
At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute — right hand lifted, palm downward, to align with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.— From The Youth’s Companion, 65 (1892): 446–447.
Then again — many people have told me that I (supposedly) ‘think too much”. Maybe this would make sense, if I was stupid.
But, I’m (somewhat) off-topic:
I have always thought that “world” history should be taught before U.S. history — for one simple reason: United States history only makes sense in the context of WORLD events.
For example: The “American revolution” is incomprehensible unless you make reference to the British Empire. The British Empire is itself incomprehensible unless you make reference to the exploration/conquest/colonization undertaken by European nation-states during the “Age of Discovery”: