american experience paper # 1

american experience paper # 1 - Virani 1 Sofia Virani Ms...

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Sofia Virani Ms. Shammas History 200: The American Experience 12 September 2007 Is it US History or World History? Thomas Bender believes that, “If we begin to think about American history as a local instance of a general history…not only will historical knowledge be improved, but cultural foundations of a needed cosmopolitanism will be enhanced.” 1 Bender looks at Columbus’ voyage as the event that opened up ocean travel, not as the event that the A People and a Nation textbook would say, created the United States. He also spends much of the first chapter discussing the Mongols and Ottomans and their decline while the textbook mentions the other countries but focuses more on America. Bender barely discusses the formation of the 13 colonies, which is an essential part of the beginning of the textbook and of American history in general. Bender’s approach is a unique look at American history, but it doesn’t necessarily teach American history as much as world history. Bender’s main focus is on ocean travel and how Columbus’ trip redefined space. Right from the start, Bender doesn’t discuss the new land that was found but rather what was going on in Europe, Africa and the Mongol Empire. The only connection he makes between America and the other countries, is that finding this land “opened up an extraordinary global prospect.” 2 The ocean was the real discovery. The fact that people could now travel everywhere by water instead of only by land opened up a whole new 1 Thomas Bender, A Nation Among Nations, 14. 2
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course HIST 200gm taught by Professor Shammas during the Fall '05 term at USC.

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american experience paper # 1 - Virani 1 Sofia Virani Ms...

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