Just recently I learned that several elite colleges and universities have decided that any of their students who are pursuing a major in history do not have to take the basic American history courses. It remains to be seen if other colleges and universities will follow suit.
As someone who majored in history, I believe that is a mistake on the part of the individuals who made such a decision. Apparently it is another sign of political correctness which dominates the college campuses of today’s world. Why? Because some college professors view America as a racist, sexist nation. Thus it is pointless to learn about America’s past.
In addition to being politically correct, multiculturalism has also played a role in this decision. In other words, some of these history professors think American college students should not learn about American history and instead focus on studying the history of another part of the world.
Now, there is nothing wrong with learning the history of some other region, whether it be the Middle East, Africa, Asia, etc. But I do feel that anyone who does major in history should be required to take the basic American history courses.
When I was in college, history majors were required to take the basic American history courses, as well as the World Civilization/Western Civilization courses. They were usually required to take certain other history courses, ranging from regional history (e.g. history of the Middle East) to Historical Methods. I should point out that the required or recommended history courses vary from college to college.
I should also point out that when majoring in history, one is usually expected to focus on a certain field when it comes to regional history, whether it be American history, European History, or another region of the world. In addition, they are encouraged to have a specialty in their field, whether it be a time period (e.g. the Middle Ages), cultural history (e.g. African-American history), or some other area (e.g. military history).
Needless to say, I took the basic American history courses while pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. I also took the basic Western Civilization courses, as well as History of the Middle East, History of Britain, the Early Republic, the Civil War, and History of the South. While pursuing my Master’s Degree, the courses I took included the following: the Gilded Age, the Crusades, Fourteenth Century Europe, the Medieval Church, World War I, and History of the Third Reich.
Thus, every American college student who decides to major in history needs to take the basic American history courses. The same can be said for those who decide to have history as their minor.