Introduction to 8th Grade US History
The United States of America is the most powerful country in the world. People desire to migrate here from all over the world and for so many different reasons. In many ways the US is exceptional in the world today and also in all of world history. But at the same time, we are a country that has its problems like any other country in the world. The best way to begin to understand why we are the way we are is to explore our roots. A tree's ability to grow and produce is limited by the size and strength of its roots. So, this year we explore American History from the perspective of how it created the wonderful features that we enjoy in this country today and also the problems that we experience as a nation. In some ways America is the conflux (joining or meeting) of all the world in one place. So we begin its story with the Columbian Exchange - the coming together, and clash, of different continents and cultures - and the new nation it created. Later we will discover how the differences created by this "coming together" almost tears a nation apart. Throughout each period, we discover people who met the challenges of their day and created new solutions, ideas and values that make America the nation it is today. I hope that this understanding will help us meet the challenges of our day too.
As a teacher and student of American History, I have traveled somewhat in the US and the Americas and I will share some of the photos and experiences that have enriched my appreciation for American History.