The American Historian

20th Century American History


White Teenagers, Black America, and Rock & Roll in the 1950s

American Cultural History in the 1950s American teenagers of the 1950s had more free time, social interaction, and disposable income than ever before in American history. Within these newfound freedoms, white teenagers could experiment with their youthfulness like never before within the context of American culture, leading them to experimentation with black America’s rhythm and blues music. This profoundly satisfying and rebellious music, in turn, led to black America’s creation […]

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The Great Depression

“Unemployment in the sense of distress is widely disappearing. . . . We in America today are nearer to the final triumph over poverty than ever before in the history of any land. The poor-house is vanishing from among us. We have not yet reached the goal, but given a change to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon with he help of […]

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How did Howard Hughes get a Start in Cinema?

How did Howard Hughes become an entrepreneur? Looking at entrepreneurship between 1900-1930 brought Howard Hughes (1905-1976) immediately to mind as a prominent entrepreneur involved in multiple business ventures throughout his lifetime resulting in a billion-dollar empire. Hughes inherited a fortune as a teenager and managed to live a successful, yet peculiar life in both in personal and business dealings. Often second-generation wealth ends in poverty, yet Howard Hughes was the […]

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Railroads and Wagons in Postbellum America: Economics in the Reconstruction Era Transportation Industry

By Jonathan Fisette        After America desecrated itself with the Civil War, companies such as the Reading Railroad and Studebaker wagon company looked to rebound the American economy and carve out their own transportation market share during the fragile period of Reconstruction. Reconstruction Era transportation economics are a complicated business, especially when attempting to keep track of the constant bankruptcies, reacquisitions, and the constant competition that these companies […]

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The Briery Church

The Briery church has an interesting history that includes prominent Christian men, college presidents, and slavery to contend. Established around 1750, the church struggled to keep a preacher on the payroll. The church membership decided in 1766 to confront the financial problem and secure its financial future. The tradesmen and farmers that its membership consisted decided to use the slave market as a form of financial security so they could […]

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How to Series: Research Genealogy

Let’s talk genealogy! According to George Mason, author of How to Do Everything: Genealogy we must understand the difference between the following: •   Genealogy is the scholarly study of a family’s line of descent from its ancestors, during which one develops an understanding of the family’s historical context and documents its history and traditions. •   Family history is the study of a family’s history and traditions over an extended period of time […]

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Mont St. Michel: A Visit of a Lifetime

In March 2017, Leslie and I visited France intending to see every bit of the country as possible in just 11 days. Mont St. Michel made the list as the pictures you’ll see below absolutely do not due it justice. We used the Eurorail into Brittany, leaving a short 40 minute bus ride to the castle. The buses were completely amazing as they had steering wheels on both ends of […]

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Christianity, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War

The 2020 US presidential election is steadily approaching which bring with it questions that we reflect on as a nation in moving forward. Where did America come from? What is America’s current state? What direction should America have in the future? While the second two questions are important, they cannot be approached until the first is answered. To forsake the past is to forsake the future. Equally, misunderstanding our past […]

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Why Study History?

“History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things. It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things but somehow something goes wrong.” -C.S. Lewis The popular trend among Americans is to be contemptuous of history, especially American history. Cynicism is reaching an all-time high and popular culture demonizes American history specifically as something equivalent with the Nazi movement or some great mounting evil. I […]

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