How do we Recover our American Ethics and Roots?

 American History Textbook

How do we learn about our American basics, our core values, our roots, and about American Exceptionalism?  We start teaching American history in schools again, and we don’t soft peddle it.

We teach kids about real American heroes, and the amazing men and women who went through tremendous personal difficulties to put their ideals into practice.

We teach kids about the real American Revolution. For example, Alexander Hamilton, embroiled in combat at Yorktown, protected the headmaster at what would become Columbia.  The crowds wanted to string the headmaster up — he was a Tory.  Alexander didn’t care about the politics when it came to saving a life — that’s the sort of ethics we come from and what we stand for.  (Hamilton’s life is a very interesting study.)

Washington was a rural man, a farmer, although he didn’t get to spend very much time at home.  Hamilton was unique–he saw America as an urban country, not as a rural country. They both put individual beliefs aside to hammer out the basic principles that were, and still are, fundamental. 

American history is exciting, it is energizing. Vibrant. It should be taught that way.  Get kids enthused!  We are teaching values, American values that say: we are not a country of victims.  This is very important.  We want our kids to grow up knowing they come from a country with a heart. A country with a fighting spirit when we need to protect our values that were so hard won. 

JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you.  Ask what you can do for your country.”  This is what we need to get back to, every one of us, and it begins in early learning.

We are the most generous people on earth, but to all of those who wish us ill, to those who want to ride the back of the tiger, we say, “Careful… You may end inside of it.”

American History. That’s where kids, anyone, can learn about where we started out and how we can get back there.

 

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5 Responses to How do we Recover our American Ethics and Roots?

  1. Gail Lawson Clough May 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    I know civics is no longer taught in the public school system, but American History? This is deplorable. It took almost ten years and thousands of lives for us to gain our freedom, and our history is neglected? This is unacceptable. Even after General Cornwallis surrendered in 1781, it took two years of struggle to ratify the Paris Treaty of September 3, 1783. The renowned John Jay scholar, Professor Richard B. Morris, calls the signing of the treaty the single greatest act of diplomacy in American history. We may celebrate American independence on July 4, 1776, but America’s true birthday is September 3, 1783, the date on which the Paris Treaty was signed by Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams for the thirteen colonies; and David Hartley for Great Britain. The Paris Treaty of 1783 formally acknowledged American independence and sovereignty in the international community. American history is full of magic, suffering, violence and triumph. We should cherish our history!

    • Robert K Tanenbaum May 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      The honorable people who created this government, and their code of ethics, is an excellent place to go to remember what this country is about. YOu are absolutely right.

      • Gail Lawson Clough May 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

        Sure, we make mistakes all the time, but a baby learns to walk by falling down. It is a huge mistake to fail to teach young people about American history. Is buying another aircraft carrier more important than the education of young Americans?

        I can’t wait to read Echoes of My Soul. I would pre-order it, but the last time I did that, I never got the book, so I will just wait until Tuesday to order it.

        Thank you for the honor of your reply, Mr. Tanenbaum. I love your work.

        • Robert K Tanenbaum May 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

          Thank you. RKT

          • Gail Lawson Clough May 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

            Point of clarification, please: The book I pre-ordered and did not receive was not your publisher. I cherish my first edition of Fury.

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