Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Don’t Know Much About History: Veterans Day Edition

 

This is page one of the “Intermediate Level U.S. History since 1900” workbook, used to prepare for the citizenship exam. What, if anything, do you think current 8th-12th graders and college students would put down in each block, before peeking or asking Siri or Alexa? If you let either of those spirits into your home, what do they say about these wars?

Citizenship Study Guide page

To pass the civics portion of the citizenship exam, you can memorize 100 questions and answers, or go through some self-study workbooks to learn what you must know, or take classes to learn and practice to take the exam. If you take naturalization classes, this workbook is part of the USCIS lesson plans.

For this Veterans Day, on Remembrance Day for our English-speaking allies, how might the answers for citizenship differ from what is being put into the brains of students in public schools across America? It is definitely not just that students “don’t know much about history.” John Hinderaker calls the current situation in our public education “the biggest threat to our future“:

Academic standards have collapsed; objective testing is out of fashion; corrupt left-wing unions have taken nearly complete control; indoctrination has largely replaced education. The result is that we are raising a generation of ignoramuses.

[…]

I think we are rapidly approaching a point where there is a serious question whether our population is too dumb to sustain a democracy.

If we can enforce the curriculum and answers for citizenship at the national level, then exactly what is the excuse of every Republican’t in state and local government? How about “we really do not want to do the hard work of forcing change or stopping change though boards of regents and boards of education, with the full weight of legislatures, executives, and courts.” We have the power to change this, by changing out politicians until they are terrified into courage, at which time we will have republican seas of excellence with island states of wokeness.

The only proper answers to Republican’t are:

  • “People have the power.”
  • “No fate.”
  • “Yes, we can.”

Published in Education
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 31 comments.

  1. Kephalithos Member

    World War I: “There were two!?!?”

    World War II: “Donald Trump killed the Jews.”

    Korean War: “I like kimchi.”

    • #1
    • November 11, 2019, at 4:28 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    “…and write down everything you know about each war.”

    Looks like you’re going to need bigger boxes.

    • #2
    • November 11, 2019, at 5:29 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    It’s a multifaceted problem. Most high school American history courses are one year long. It is well nigh impossible to get to a thorough examination of anything in the 20th Century on that schedule. Once there is plenty of film available, say beginning in the 1930s, most teachers just show videos. Teaching the 20th Century becomes robber barons, race riots, depression, FDR, civil rights, Vietnam, late 20th Century “imperialism” (if they get to that at all). Then add in the “collaborative learning” crowd, where a group of kids generally relies on one or two students who actually want a good grade and do all the work. (Just consider the worksheet above.) 

    If you want to know how your public school district values history education, look at how many history teachers coach football or teach driver’s ed. Many, many districts hire teachers primarily for coaches and activities and then tack on a section of history.

    Our students spend more time studying other parts of the world than they do the US.

    • #3
    • November 11, 2019, at 6:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. dnewlander Member

    This isn’t a new thing. I had excellent history teachers for 8th grade US history and 12th grade Western Civ (team teachers both years–the newest building at my high school is named for the Figge brothers) but my 10th grade teacher was pathetic. I ended up teaching the section on WWI, and tried to get out of most of the rest of the year by “running errands” (meaning, “get this kid out of my class because he’s making me look stupid.”).

    My kid wants to be a history teacher. I hope his conservative leanings survive college indoctrination.

    • #4
    • November 11, 2019, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. RightAngles Member

    Not to ruin your day or anything, but behold an actual comment thread from Reddit yesterday – the post was about Chairman Mao:

     

    • #5
    • November 11, 2019, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Not to ruin your day or anything, but behold an actual comment thread from Reddit yesterday – the post was about Chairman Mao:

    Oh, for Cod’s sake!

    • #6
    • November 11, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. RightAngles Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Not to ruin your day or anything, but behold an actual comment thread from Reddit yesterday – the post was about Chairman Mao:

    Oh, for Cod’s sake!

    Yep, and these same little twits can be found on other posts bloviating about the virtues of socialism, when they have zero idea what its logical ending place often is.

    • #7
    • November 11, 2019, at 1:59 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Part of the reason that traditional teaching of US history may have been overrun is that it takes a skilled and enthusiastic teacher to teach it. That was my experience of history for the most part, but that was a lo-n-g-g-g— time ago. So those who weren’t enthusiastic about teaching it to begin with, and had a more “important” agenda anyway, were able to dump history. Where were all of us to stop them?

    • #8
    • November 12, 2019, at 12:44 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Stad Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Not to ruin your day or anything, but behold an actual comment thread from Reddit yesterday – the post was about Chairman Mao:

    Oh, for Cod’s sake!

    Yep, and these same little twits can be found on other posts bloviating about the virtues of socialism, when they have zero idea what its logical ending place often is.

    Maybe they should join the Peace Corps and visit Venezuela . . .

    • #9
    • November 13, 2019, at 10:52 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Here is a little study aid for the exam, helping fill in the worksheet:

    • #10
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:01 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Here is a little study aid for the exam, helping fill in the worksheet:

    A somber reminder.

    • #11
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:03 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Larry3435 Member

    I wrote my answer for WWII (I had to write pretty densely to fit into the space provided):

    I would go on to the other wars, but my hand is cramping. Or maybe I should have just given the lefty answer: “Imperialist American war-mongers oppressed people of color.” That’s really all you need to know, isn’t it?

    • #12
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Old Bathos Member

    Ben Stein’s columns in the American Spectator had some wonderful anecdotes about California youth and American history. There was one where Stein recalled making some kind of a joke about the prevalence of Japanese cars and electronics and wondering who really won WWII to which a young lady expressed surprise that we had ever been at war with Japan. “Wow, who won?”

    We are producing a new generation that will be easy to persuade that “we have always been at war with EastAsia” when the time comes because there will be nothing substantive that will need to be cognitively displaced.

    • #13
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:12 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Arahant Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    There was one where Stein recalled making some kind of a joke about the prevalence of Japanese cars and electronics and wondering who really won WWII to which a young lady expressed surprise that we had ever been at war with Japan. “Wow, who won?”

    It’s not just the US:

    • #14
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. Seawriter Member

    Five wars? War on Terror (or Iraq War/Afghan Intervention if you prefer) seems to have been left out.

    • #15
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:25 AM PST
    • Like
  16. Joseph Stanko Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    Maybe they should join the Peace Corps and visit Venezuela . . .

    Venezuela? That’s, like, the country where the right-wing nationalist ruined the economy? Yeah, pretty sure that’s what happened, I should know, I just finished binge-watching that Jack Ryan show on Amazon…

    • #16
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Valiuth Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Five wars? War on Terror (or Iraq War/Afghan Intervention if you prefer) seems to have been left out.

    It say in the 20th century those are post 2000. So they are technically correct, the best kind of correct. 

    • #17
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Joseph Stanko Member

    WWI: A pointless war where cruel generals miles behind the lines repeatedly ordered millions of young soldiers to charge enemy machine gun positions until they all died.

    WWII: The war where we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, inflicting horrible pain and suffering. Oh, and we also rounded up all the Japanese citizens and sent them to concentration camps.

    Korea: The war where Douglas MacArthur wanted to nuke China before brave President Truman stopped him in the nick of time.

    Vietnam: The war started on false pretenses (Gulf of Tonkin) so we could continue the failed French project of colonizing the Vietnamese people. We did this by dropping Agent Orange indiscriminately all over the country and by massacring innocent villagers for fun. Most Vietnam veterans (who were of course disproportionately minorities) were scarred for life and are now homeless.

    Persian Gulf War: The first in a series of wars where a President named Bush invaded the Middle East to steal all the oil.

    • #18
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:51 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  19. Old Bathos Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    WWI: A pointless war where cruel generals miles behind the lines repeatedly ordered millions of young soldiers to charge enemy machine gun positions until they all died.

    WWII: The war where we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, inflicting horrible pain and suffering. Oh, and we also rounded up all the Japanese citizens and sent them to concentration camps.

    Korea: The war where Douglas MacArthur wanted to nuke China before brave President Truman stopped him in the nick of time.

    Vietnam: The war started on false pretenses (Gulf of Tonkin) so we could continue the failed French project of colonizing the Vietnamese people. We did this by dropping Agent Orange indiscriminately all over the country and by mascaraing innocent villagers for fun. Most Vietnam veterans (who were of course disproportionately minorities) were scarred for life and are now homeless.

    Persian Gulf War: The first in a series of wars where a President named Bush invaded the Middle East to steal all the oil.

     

    You left out the other half of the WWII summary: FDR unleashed Eisenhower’s goons to invade France and shatter the fragile Franco-German Peace Accord of 1940.

    • #19
    • November 13, 2019, at 11:54 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    There was one where Stein recalled making some kind of a joke about the prevalence of Japanese cars and electronics and wondering who really won WWII to which a young lady expressed surprise that we had ever been at war with Japan. “Wow, who won?”

    It’s not just the US:

    How much more substantive and self reflective these young people are than the typical U.S. street interview. Why don’t they know and what does that mean? They are willing and ready to go there.

     

    • #20
    • November 13, 2019, at 12:32 PM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Question: Why no mention of The Cold War? It was very important . . .

    • #21
    • November 13, 2019, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Seawriter Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Question: Why no mention of The Cold War? It was very important . . .

    Maybe because we won it.

    • #22
    • November 13, 2019, at 3:38 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Seawriter (View Comment):
    workbook is part of the USCIS lesson plans

    In the workbook, the Korean and Vietnam Wars are put in the context of the Cold War. A quiz question is:

    7. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States?

    The answer comes from this paragraph:

    After World War II, the Cold War started between the Soviet Union and the United States. During the Cold War, communism was the main concern of the United States. The Soviet Union had a communist economy where most property was owned by the government. The United States had a market economy, or capitalist economy. In a capitalist economy, businesses and property are owned by the people. The United States wanted countries around the world to have capitalism and democracy. The United States and its allies were very worried about the spread of communism to other countries.

     

    • #23
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:41 AM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Stad Thatcher

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Question: Why no mention of The Cold War? It was very important . . .

    Maybe because we won it.

    Or because Reagan won it . . .

    • #24
    • November 14, 2019, at 6:58 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  25. Cow Girl Thatcher

    I taught 4th grade for a couple of decades, plus a few years. I created a Veteran’s Day lesson that included a timeline of the wars since that “War to End All Wars.” So, I know of a few students who should be able to write some information in those boxes. But, seriously, it is very sad to realize that there are so many ignorant people who don’t have a clue about the history of the world.

    • #25
    • November 14, 2019, at 8:57 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Yeah. Hardly anyone talks about the Punic Wars anymore.

    • #26
    • November 14, 2019, at 8:59 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Stad Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Yeah. Hardly anyone talks about the Punic Wars anymore.

    Yeah, there aren’t that many veterans left to talk about it . . .

    • #27
    • November 14, 2019, at 9:58 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Arahant Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Yeah. Hardly anyone talks about the Punic Wars anymore.

    Yeah, there aren’t that many veterans left to talk about it . . .

    Just me and ol’ Hamilcar . Damned Romans.

    • #28
    • November 14, 2019, at 9:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  29. The Reticulator Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Yeah. Hardly anyone talks about the Punic Wars anymore.

    Yeah, there aren’t that many veterans left to talk about it . . .

    Just me and ol’ Hamilcar . Damned Romans.

    Sometime you should tell us what it was like riding an elephant across the Alps.

    • #29
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:22 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Arahant Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Sometime you should tell us what it was like riding an elephant across the Alps.

    A bit cold. Wasn’t too bad until Hannibal caused an avalanche. That was a bad day.

    • #30
    • November 14, 2019, at 12:26 PM PST
    • 3 likes