American History is much shorter than European history. Although Native Americans have lived in the Americas for thousands of years before Columbus arrived, written records and knowledge of events dates from about 1492 AD. Consequently, American history has less content to it, but it is no less rich than what occurred in Europe. In fact, greater changes have occurred in America relative to Europe in roughly the same time period. The reasons for this are many: European civilization already had set institutions, traditions, customs, loyalties, and cultures, whereas the new American settlers had to develop these things on their own, having to adapt to different political and geographic realities, even as they were using European models for government, law, and culture. The result was a new form of civilization, one that quickly found itself mostly freed of the old bonds that characterized European society at the time, which enabled new ideas to flourish. From these ideas,... read more
European history is an important part of global history. Many of the institutions and concepts of the modern world come from Europe. To understand European history is to understand the world we live in, in a very real sense. Ideas such as Liberalism, Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Nationalism, and many others have their roots in the European experience. Many highly complex time periods, such as the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Discovery, the Commercial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the World Wars all began in Europe. Any student who needs to learn about Europe's long and rich history can be taught by me.