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MTP Reggie

Americans Have Almost Entirely Forgotten Their History

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MTP Reggie

Americans Have Almost Entirely Forgotten Their History

Jarrett Stepman

October 04, 2018

Daily Signal

 

<More Here>

 

In America, we celebrate democracy and are justifiably proud that this nation was founded on the idea that the people should rule. That's why it is so important that Americans be informed about their government. They are partakers in it. In fact, they control it. Under tyrannical systems, it matters little if the people are informed about political life. Autocrats make decisions for the people whether they like it or not. But in our republic, we rely on the informed decision-making of citizens to judge policies and the leaders who will implement them.

Unfortunately, we are not very well-informed.

 

According to a recently released survey, Americans are woefully uneducated about the most basic facts of our history, to the point where most couldn't even pass a basic citizenship test. A study by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 1 in 3 Americans can actually pass the U.S. citizenship test, which asks the most basic questions about our history and how our system of government works. Passing the test requires answering 60 percent of questions correctly, but a majority of those participating in the survey couldn't even do that.

"With voters heading to the polls next month, an informed and engaged citizenry is essential," Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, said.

 

"Unfortunately, this study found the average American to be woefully uninformed regarding America's history and incapable of passing the U.S. citizenship test. It would be an error to view these findings as merely an embarrassment. Knowledge of the history of our country is fundamental to maintaining a democratic society, which is imperiled today."

 

The survey listed some of the embarrassing answers given on the test.

 

  • -Seventy-two percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure which states comprised the original 13 colonies;
  • -Only 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb;
  • -Only 24 percent knew the correct answer as to why the colonists fought the British;
  • -Twelve percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War, while 6 percent thought he was a Vietnam War general;
  • -While most knew the cause of the Cold War, 2 percent said it was climate change.

Young people performed worst on the test. Out of all test-takers under the age of 45, only 19 percent passed. Given these numbers, it's no wonder why so many young Americans say they would rather live under socialism than capitalism, and have little understanding of what that would mean in reality. On the one hand, there is a case for forgetting history. Many cultures cling to historical grievances to the point where history becomes a major impediment to future success. Treated wrongly, historical memory can be toxic rather than helpful.

 

We don't want to become trapped by the past, but we do want to learn from it in order to avoid repeating past mistakes and build a better future. As citizens, knowledge of the past and of civics is crucial. Lacking such knowledge is unhealthy for a free country, and even dangerous, given how bad political life can become.

 

One of our biggest problems today is that we often focus on tearing down our history rather than learning from it. That needs to change. If these sobering test results tell us anything, it's that we need to consider a fundamental change in how we approach education in the United States. And despite what some voices say, education funding is not the problem.

 

(snip)

<More Here>

Edited by MTP Reggie

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MontyPython

Given these numbers, it's no wonder why so many young Americans say they would rather live under socialism than capitalism, and have little understanding of what that would mean in reality.

 

Yup, that's frightening and sad. And sadder still, it isn't only young people. There are plenty of older supporters of socialism who should know better.

 

<_<

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BootsieBets

They don’t teach history in most schools anymore. Civics? Forget it.

 

If they do, it’s not the breadth of history that we were taught in the 50’s. 60’s, and even 70’s. They have been taught the leftist pc version of history which is all about how horrible America is. How racist white Europeans are and how beautiful everybody else is and they are suppressed and oppressed and let’s share the wealth!!! Yea Che!

Edited by BootsieBets

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Ben Cranklin

While most knew the cause of the Cold War, 2 percent said it was climate change

 

:biglaugh:

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LongKnife

They've either forgotten it or never learned it.

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AnnieGotHerGun

They've either forgotten it or never learned it.

In truth, a lot of folks never got the opportunity to learn our true history, and our form of government, in school. I find it very sad. I also find the public schools seem to want it this way, a lot of the admins are following the liberal lie of socialism and do not want students to understand just how wonderful this country is.

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Ticked@TinselTown

It's a shining spotlight on the quality of the public school system in this country, from kindergarten to university.

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Howsithangin

By design folks, by design.

 

The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was... The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

 

--Milan Kundera

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zurg

I need to pass all kinds of tests for all kinds of things I want to do, but not for voting, for some reason.

 

It would be cool if voting in the booth had three questions (drawn from a large pool randomly) about history and government and your vote would only count if you got two correct.

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Severian

By design folks, by design.

 

The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was... The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

 

--Milan Kundera

He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past. - George Orwell, 1984

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Hieronymous

First sentence of the article, "In America, we celebrate democracy..." shows that the author could use a lesson in American history as well.

Edited by Hieronymous

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