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Current time:0:00Total duration:1:48

Why study US history, government, and civics?

Video transcript

so John if I'm a student studying American history or US government what why should I care well first there are great stories the characters in American history all the way through are fascinating just human beings they they would make great just movie characters period heroes villains people who are risen rise to courage when you know they were otherwise pretty boring people look at Abraham Lincoln for example he failed miserably repeatedly repeatedly repeatedly then he becomes the greatest president and when he's almost at the end of his well he doesn't know it's the end of his life but later in life after he's had his greatness he says I confess that I was like a cork in a stream well if you're a regular person and you think my life feels good without a purpose you can think well the greatest president in America felt like his life was kind of bouncing around and so that is an incredibly human connection to greatness and we all need connections to greatness of whatever kind to inspire us because the questions today that America faces about freedom and liberty and what it means to be an American and how the power is distributed throughout our governments and our lives that affect us today we're discussed and talked about and wrestled over all throughout American history and it is a continuing experiment and when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence he said this new country that we're creating has to constantly refresh each new generation has to refresh their contact with the original ideals that the country was founded on otherwise the country will fail and so it's not only important to know what's going on around us by studying history but it is according to Thomas Jefferson your duty to stay engaged with the ideas of America so that those ideas don't get lost in the kind of flurry and craziness of a current moment