American history is a story of exceptionalism. Indeed, our national history is filled with men and women who did amazing things in the areas of science, military strategy, art, and more. There are almost too many influential Americans to count!
Let’s take a look at just a few of the most important trailblazers, outlaws (for their time), and revolutionaries so we can appreciate just who we have in our country’s history.
7. Lewis & Clark
If embarking on an ambitious expedition into the great unknown doesn't get you serious kudos, we don't know what will!
In 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark bravely ventured into the uncharted wilds of undiscovered America, tasked with exploring lands newly acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.
Little did they know that their survey of the Pacific Northwest would take 2 treacherous years and cost them considerable blood, sweat and tears. With Sacagawea as their guide, they conquered the perils and returned with significant knowledge of the new land. This paved the way for our young country to expand its power through further settlement, resources and development.
6. Abraham Lincoln
We can’t forget Abraham Lincoln, a hugely influential President who signed the Emancipation Proclamation and outlawed slavery throughout the US.
He’s also noteworthy because of his unwavering resolve during arguably the most tumultuous time in American history: the Civil War.
5. Benjamin Franklin
Ben Franklin may never have become President, but he was also a well-known Founding Father and contributed many of the Enlightenment ideals that we can now see in our Constitution.
Specifically, Ben Franklin was a big proponent of secularism (the separation of church and state) and splitting the different government powers between three branches, preventing any one branch from becoming too powerful.
On top of all this, Franklin was a well-known diplomat, inventor, and entrepreneur!
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4. Henry Ford
Speaking of entrepreneurship, we can’t forget Henry Ford: one of the most influential and successful Americans of all time.
Indeed, Henry Ford is the reason we have so many personal automobiles driving around our nation’s roads. Ford was a capitalist down to the very core, paying his workers a fair wage in exchange for hard work and revolutionizing the automobile industry.
Ford was also important for his impact on the economy in general; he developed a system of manufacturing so he could produce more goods in a shorter amount of time which has been replicated throughout many industries.
3. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is the most well-known and respected civil rights advocate in history, and for good reason. He led massive American social changes during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.
Although he died before his dream of true equality could be achieved, the movement he started led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, banning discrimination on the basis of race.
2. Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs has had a bigger impact than you might initially think. Not only was he behind Apple and the advent of the personal computer, but he also led the charge behind the next big tech industrial shift: the mobile device.
How many of us now have pocket computers on us all day long? It’s because of Steve Jobs and his innovative company.
1. Robert E. Lee
A rebel to the core, Robert E Lee was technically an outlaw, due to his unfortunate influence as a main player in the Civil War. Despite his negative impact on the history books, the tragic leader of the Confederate Army was an honorable General who did what he thought was best for his state and new country.
While Lee ultimately lost the war, his defeat still helped shape the foundation of modern military strategy and he remains well-regarded among many military members for his honor and sense of duty.
America truly is the greatest country on earth, in part due to the ambition and determination of our historical trailblazers.
Here’s to the visionaries of our country and their contributions!
Thank you for reading, stay strong patriots.
Justin | FamTeeWorld
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