Americanhistory classes and textbooks tends to tell us about all the good things theUnited States has done and all the sacrifices that were made in order to reachwhere we are today. Itis made to seem that America would never do anything to harm another being orrace and that everyone simply obeyed all of the United States’ commands with noquestions asked.
We all happily coexisted with each other and the world was rainbows andbutterflies. However,this is far from the truth and America is actually a mean bully who threatenedanyone who dares to step in their way. It is time for the harsh realitiesof our nations’ past to be revealed and the truth be told of what actuallyoccurred in America. Historyshould be told for what it is, not for what you want someone to believe it is.The United States has tried tomaintain a positive image throughout history despite their unforgiving past.
According to Loewen, “NativeAmericans have been the most lied-about subset in our population” (Loewen p.99). We are simply taught that theAmericans came to the west to obtain more land due to Manifest Destiny and theNative Americans were removed from their land because the Americans wanted themto leave.The reality of this is that the Americans forcefully removed Native Americansfrom their homes and killed the ones who didn’t cooperate. Textbooks don’t include this part partiallybecause we are taught that the United States is a land of dreams andopportunities, no one is supposed to be getting hurt or killed since this iswhere dreams become reality.The other reason why textbooks don’t include the negative past of the US is becausegood things happen to good people.
The US wants to tell us that they are good people and we got rewarded withcertain things like new lands because we do things that will only benefit us. They tried to play along with thewhole idea of being a good person by trying to make the Indians seems like theenemy.The Native Americans are called savages and described as beasts in textbooks, sothe Europeans have a valid reason to enslave or kill the Indians.
The last reason why textbooks lieabout history because we want to be known as winners or the most powerful. They were obviously battles wherethe Europeans lost and that was shocking to some especially since the Europeanswere supposed to be stronger and better than the Indians. The Europeans were described asstrong and powerful and for them to get beat by Native Americans who weredescribed as technologically disadvantaged and poor was hard for some people toaccept.
Textbooks decide to exclude those details because only winners get prizes andlosers get nothing.The Native Americans were believed tobe savages and beast that were on the hunt for blood, but this statement was alie to persuade Americans that the Indians were the enemy. The Indians were very helpful to theEuropeans and offered many beneficial assets to the white men. The Indians showed the men how tolive off the land, new weaponry, and offered to work as interpreters.
They did all this in exchange ofvarious tools and accessories. TheNative Americans society changed after being in contact with the Europeans;they adapted to guns, new food, new constructions skills and even ideas fromChristianity. TheEuropeans used this to their advantages and would bribe the Native Americansinto slavery with guns or tools. Thetextbooks often “forgets” to mention the enslavement of Native Americans andthe harsh treatment from the white Europeans. The history books fail to mentionthe slavery actions that occurred in South Carolina or the massive number ofNative Americans being shipped away to be used as slaves.
(Loewen p.104-105).Personally, I believe that textbooksshould include all the bloody battles and wars because there is no reason tohide something that already occurred. I understand that the US wants tomaintain a positive image especially in kids, but wouldn’t it be better forthem to learn that everything comes with a price.
We don’t have to expose them to allthe brutal details at first, but we should slowly tell them of the events thatactually happened to both the Indians and Europeans. I also feel that the United Statesshould include all the cruel facts in textbooks because history repeats itselfand it is better to learn something and recognize the signs of a possiblesimilar situation before it’s too late. The United States knows that whatthey did was wrong and could have been handled differently but at that momentin time, the slaughtering of the Indians was their best choice.
The textbooks try to put this ideathat the Europeans were heroes despite all the pain and conflicts they causedother people and races.Another reason why textbooks should include every detail including the bad onesbecause we shouldn’t hide all the things that actually occurred that helped usreach where we are today in society. The killings of Native Americans andtheir villages is horrible and was wrong for the settlers to push people out oftheir current homes in order to make room for more people, but it occurred. All the gruesome details happenedand there isn’t anything we can do now to stop it from happening.
However, it helped influence theworld we live in today.We wouldn’t have certain laws or treaties without all the events that occurredduring that time period.This doesn’t only pertain to native American history since this was done to avariety of other races and people.
American history tends to hide allthe bloody details that happened to protect us from the reality of whatactually happened.The US wants us all to believe that they are good people and have done nothingbut positive things for the world and history. However, this needs to stop toproperly educate our youth about the history of America even if it results in aclassroom full of tears.American History isn’t complete without all the little battles and sacrificesthat are hidden to the public.