Flickr Photo by chrismetcalf
All Americans are familiar with the surface history of America, the history that is published in textbooks, which conservatives have gone to war against with the hope of including less and less history and more and more American fables and mythology. Most are aware of how this nation declared its independence from the British. Or, so I thought.
This Fourth of July there's a poll circulating that indicates a number of people were not sure of whom America gained their independence from. The poll found twenty-six percent was unsure or said suggested America gained its independence from a country that was not England or Great Britain.
Thirty-five percent of non-whites were unsure while thirteen percent were unsure. Most alarming is the result indicating my generation between 18 to 29 was thirty-three percent unsure. And, add in the "other countries mentioned" besides Britain (7%), and you have forty percent of people between 18 and 29 not knowing the history of America's Independence Day.
I don't want to make too much of this poll. I only aim to share my belief that less and less young people are concerned with history. And, how much of Fourth of July really is about America's Independence anymore anyway?
Chances are the average American goes through this anniversary of our Independence Day never really thinking about how this nation had a group of people exercise self-determination and throw off the tyrannical government of King George III. The Fourth of July has devolved into barbecues, fireworks, and a chance for American consumers to get bargains on cars, mattresses, and electronics, etc.