Why Should We Study American History?

As I typed out that heading a wave of ‘remember when’s’ swept through my mind. I remember quite clearly the many times I asked this question when I was younger and completely uninterested in history. Now, looking back, I see how these studies have influenced my outlook on life, my vision, my purpose. I have learned exactly how much worldviews matter, the scope that we look through will change our lives and the lives of the people around us. Through these studies I am learning that we need to be visionaries instead of dreamers, doers instead of oglers and advocates of truth, justice and righteousness.

British philosopher G.K. Chesterton once said, “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

This year we have been studying American Culture through Dr. George Grant’s history course, Gileskirk*. When we go back to the founding of our country, we see it as our forefathers meant it to be. A land of union, justice, domestic tranquility, provision for the common defense, promotion of general welfare and the blessing of liberty for them and their future generations. We are their future generations. And we are throwing away our freedom. We, as a nation are promoting evil, supporting sugar coated murder. We as a nation must repent and turn from our ways  back to God and back to the foundations that our country is rooted in.

Alex de Tocqueville put it this way, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

In his introduction to “The Patriot’s Handbook,” Dr. George Grant adds, “This anthology of historical and citizenship resources is offered in the hope that the ideas that made America both great and good may once again become the common currency of our national life. It is offered in the hope that the secret of our genius and power might be broadcast far and wide- and thus, essentially, cease to be a secret.”

In order to make these ideas the common currency we must know them first. We must delve deep into the original intent of our forefather’s, find out for ourselves the secret of America’s genius and power and as a nation turn towards good and thus towards greatness. The vision for America must once again be a city set on a hill, that gives light to the nations.

This is what history can teach us. Ideas have consequences, and may it be that the ideas and their corresponding consequences are good and therefore great.

In God alone should we put our trust.

~ Sarah Leana

* You can read more on Dr. Grant here at his website. http://www.kingsmeadow.com/


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