History is a very significant subject that displays people’s attitudes and behaviors in relation to their own, as well as foreign cultures. There were several major events in American history that shaped the country in a way that has led to its present state today.
The Civil War and the Cold War were two important stepping stones that have proved that people’s views very much depend on the time and place and sometimes, a difference in opinions causes a major conflict, whether it is local or global.
It seems that American history has begun with the Civil War. Prior to that, American life was regular and there were no particular noticeable and visible differences between the people. Those who lived in the North considered themselves the industrial part and were moving the progress while the South was a more laid back place that had its unique culture and views.
The Civil War broke out in 1861 and proved that everything was not as calm and understanding as people expected. This great historical mark was the beginning of a new era where people’s values would get tested. It shows that American people, just as any other nation, is bound to have differences and that sometimes there is no choice but to settle things in open violent conflict.
The reasons for the war were deeply political, as it was the separation between people and their societies, the way of life and traditions. The big difference between the two parts of America was that the South had a different kind of slavery which was very predominant at the time. Even with the president’s abolition and people’s outrage, it still dominated the region and was hard to root out.
This sort of division shows that there can be moral, psychological and ethical differences within one nation. Even though the North had many resources the South put up quite a fight. The southern part was cut out on the water, making it hard for any sales or trading to continue which became a great hit to the war effort.
But the determination and refusal to let go of the old way of life made the South sometimes more dominant in battles (Zinn 200). When looking back at the history of the Civil War, it is clear to see that it is a great lesson that can be taught to many people.
Another historical example of how misunderstandings between nations and societies can grow into tension is the Cold War. It is intersecting to note that it also began due to differences in people’s way of life and expectations of their own government, as well as society. This was the time of separation not only between governments but amongst people of the world.
Europe and particularly, the Slavic people had certain expectations of themselves and the government. The set regime and the conditions of life after the Second World War made people think in a specific way that was much different from the western world. The fear of the open violent conflict was slowly beginning to fill people’s minds, both in the United States and the Soviet Union.
Once again, this proves that people were not very well aware of the things that were going on domestically and internationally (Zinn 590). Every nation had great trust in its government and it was almost impossible to discover the true matter of things. This demonstrates that history is very much based on the time and the place where the events are taking their development.
History is built on such important points where one nation or even one part of people has mistrust and misunderstanding towards fellow human beings. It is crucial to note that emotions and feelings of overprotection are very central to people and the way the rest of the world is viewed.
The Cold War has shown that people are only familiar with their own culture and that it is difficult to know and comprehend what is going on in the minds of other people. There is a great connection between the Civil War and the Cold War because both are historical examples of how people can become separated over their beliefs and interests (Faragher 110).
In a very personal view, I consider history a reflection of people’s morals and psychological make-up. The reality of people is determined by how they see themselves and others around. It is now widely understood that there are many nations, each has their own unique and rich history that is full of examples of cultural separations and violent conflicts.
History should teach people that these differences and separations will always exist and it is up to the individuals to decide the way they are dealt with. The recollection of past events is the tool that will allow creating a better future. It is key to a civilization that matters are settled in a peaceful and respectful way where blood does not have to be shed for opinions to be heard.
Faragher, John. Out of Many-A History of the American People. New Jersey, United States: Prentice Hall PTR, 2011. Print.
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States 1492-Present. Harlow, England: Pearson Education, 2003. Print.