The history of the United States of America is complex and full of debate. Unfortunately, many people have incorrect views of what actually happened throughout this time period. Here we will outline some common topics that Americans tend to get wrong when it comes to American history.

The Founding Fathers

There is a common misconception that the founding fathers were all devoutly religious. While many of the founders held religious beliefs, others were not religious at all and the founders worked together to create the First Amendment that supports freedom of religion.

Another false belief is that the founding fathers were all wealthy aristocrats. In fact, the founding fathers were both wealthy and poor with farmers, merchants, and skilled artisans represented.

The American Revolution

Contrary to what is being taught in many classrooms, the American Revolution was not a total rebellion by the colonies with complete unity. In fact, the Revolution split up many families and many people chose to remain loyal to the British. All of the thirteen colonies did not join in on the Revolution until after the first battles in 1775.

The American Civil War

The Civil War is a complicated and often confusing topic. Most Americans know that it was a fight between the Confederacy and the Union over slavery, but the war’s complexities extend beyond that. Historians recognize that the war was not just about the end of slavery, but also about conflicting ideologies of state’s rights and a strong union government.

Surely, a common idea is that the proclamation of Emancipation of Proclamation 1865 made it illegal everywhere. In fact, it only applied to states in rebellion not to border states and exempted sections of the south that were already under Union control. This meant that some slaves were still legally bound until the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 which abolished all forms of slavery throughout the United States.

The Reconstruction and Jim Crow

The Reconstruction Era is remembered as a period of rebuilding the south and many people think that it was a period of progress for African Americans. However, in reality, the progress for African Americans was limited due to oppressive policies that were enacted in the form of Jim Crow Laws. These laws were made to create racial distinction and keep African Americans from having the same rights as white citizens.

It is also a misconception that Jim Crow Laws were made solely in the south. In fact, Jim Crow was not limited to these parts and the north had laws that were the same in the form of minimum wage, literacy tests, segregation in housing and racism in cities like Boston.

The Inventors of the American West

Another misconception is that cowboys and pioneers were the only people who settled the American West. This is due to the fact that most stories forget to include the people who settled the West before the European immigrants and Americans. Native Americans have a long history in North America and they had world civilizations in place before the Europeans arrived.

Additionally, many western achievements and inventions have been credited to the Europeans but Asian Americans played a large role in the settling of the West, especially in regards to the railroad. They cleared and leveled tracks, built tunnels and bridges, and often ran and maintained the trains.

The History of the American Flag

The American flag is often thought of as something that was present during the Revolutionary War as it is recognized today. The flag was actually not approved in its current form until June 14, 1777. The flag pictured a very simple design with only 13 stripes and 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies. Since then, the stars and stripes have changed to represent the incorporation of all 50 states in the Union.

Through this article, we highlighted the many inaccurate or incomplete American history facts that are commonly known and believed. From the founding fathers to the American Civil War and beyond, it is important to remember that there is much more complexity and debate when it comes to these topics than is often taught in the classroom. We need to stay humble and remember to learn more about the intricacies of these topics throughout our lives.