Historically speaking, we’re pretty clueless
Here’s a little secret about history: We’re not very good at it.
Oh, there are exceptions, I’m sure, but by and large the average American doesn’t put a whole lot of thought into what took place before his or her arrival on the planet. That’s neither a criticism nor an indictment, just a fact.
And usually, age plays a significant role — the younger the people, the less history is apt to mean to them. That’s somewhat understandable, seeing as how they don’t have as many personal events from which to draw comparisons between yesterday and today.
Of course, that lack of knowledge isn’t as big an educational hindrance as it once was, thanks to the advent of the Internet. Instead of having to pour over dusty volumes of the written word for hours at the library, hoping to gain enough insight to pass the next exam before everything leaks back out of our heads, we now have everything right at our fingertips. And we can customize our search down to the most minute detail.