British admit they were barely taught the history of American revolutionary war in school
To the United States, the number “1776” is an iconic one that conjures memories of revolution, defiance, and freedom.
For the British, however, 1776 is just another year in the history of an Empire that couldn’t last.
While this might come as a surprise for the Americans across the pond, the American Revolution was just one of the countless uprisings that took place during the long life of the British people.
In British schools, the French Revolution often takes higher priority, as well as other European-centric conflicts that changed the maps at the time. In fact, the American Revolution is usually known as the American War of Independence and is usually a footnote in most school textbooks.
When brought up as a topic on Reddit, many from the United Kingdom (or Americans with British friends, upbringing or family members) burst America’s bubble.
“In all fairness, Britain losing ONE of its thousands of colonies is probably overshadowed by the conflict they were having with the French,” one user wrote.
Others noted that World War I was a much more-developed topic in terms of textbook coverage.
“I feel like I studied trench foot for three years,” one Redditor commented on his knowledge of the “Great War.”
As someone who spent much of his secondary education in the United Kingdom (I lived there from 2001 to 2003), I can vouch for this. During the quest to obtain one’s General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE), there was a lot of focus on World War I, often to the point that field trips to French and Belgian battlefields was a yearly occasion.
In fact, whenever my nationalism was brought up in relation to the World Wars, the usual complaint is that the USA was “late to the party” on two occasions.
Interestingly enough, the War of 1812 is kind of a footnote in both British and American history, despite being incredibly important for the futures of both nations at the time, as well as for Canada.