By John Nugent. German and German-American contributions to civilization as we know it have been massive. Great German philosophers, musicians, poets, film makers, inventors and historians, far too many to mention, have shaped the world’s ways of thinking over the centuries.
Germany always has been considered important to European development—at various times it has been called the crossroads of the entire continent—but the economic might of the modern German nation and the integration of the European Union now have made understanding of German culture and civilization, of German contributions to the development of Western civilization, more important to—and worthy of study by—Americans than at any other time since 1945. Here, in Part One (of two articles) we trace today’s German-Americans from the ancient European homeland in 3000 B.C. through the Teutons and medieval Germany to the colonization of America and the War of Independence, wherein one German made all the difference.
By living in a land that has always been much more oriented toward the present and future than the past, and far more oriented toward itself than the outside world, Americans have become a unique people among the great nations of the Earth. However, they have also become oblivious to geography and history—an interesting trait for a global superpower that intervenes militarily everywhere. [Read the entire article as PDF…]