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HIST 23 American History

Published : 19-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


Who really makes a difference? Can one individual influence the direction of history. Our studies this semester point to YES. But who, in American History, was the most influential? Select 3 individuals who had a significant and lasting impact on the history of the USA and explain how their actions, decisions, and leadership changed the history of America.


Influential Figures in the American History

In the recent years, American has grown to become a world leader. America has experienced quite a large number of influential persons right from its birth, including political leaders, spiritual icons, visionaries, and explorers. The number of influential figures in the American history is increasing with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ann-Lee.

George Washington

George Washington was America’s First president and served for 22 years. Although he was an average person, unlike his peers, his achievements during his reign created a huge impact in shaping the American history. His military achievements are foremost the most important accomplishments he attained during his time and have created a long-lasting experience since then. His character was most admirable and this made people believe that being a president was his predestination. He was a wise man whose means of the ruling is attributed to civic humanism. Tolerance and nobleness are qualities that he possessed which made him famous in his times. This was because he could relate to his subjects well (Time Staff, 2012).

Thomas Jefferson

According to Morrow (2012), Thomas Jefferson is an American leader who has impacted greatly in the American history. He was a man with contradictory characters, which were attributed to intellectualism and organic disorders of life, and this situation made it hard to understand him. However, he was an enlightened leader who helped shaped the American history. He served as a diplomat, as a congressman, as a secretary of state, and the President of the great nation, a situation that proved that the American presidency was not primogeniture, but rather based on the peoples choice. He also founded the University of Virginia. Morrow (2012) claims that Jefferson created and developed a founding aspiration for the American people with his popular saying that all men are created equally.

Martin Luther King Jr.

According to Katie (2017), Martin played a key role in the advancing the civil rights. Much tribute paid to him is through his ‘I have a dream’ speech in which he saw an American revolution, where a black man would lead the great nation. Through his civil rights movements, he was able to address the poverty levels in the country, which saw most of the people living as peasants in the lands of the bourgeoisie. His protests and movements were always successful and have been awarded various gifts among them being the Nobel peace prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, and a memorial.  To celebrate him and his efforts, a day is named after him, where the American people get to honor his legacy.

Ann Lee

Ann Lee is an American religious leader, who introduced the shaker sect to the American people (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015). During the period where Christianity was forbidden by the English authorities, she was imprisoned and while there, she got to learn more about the religion. After moving to America, she held various Christian gatherings through crusades where she got to encourage people to join her quest. Through this, she gathered followers and this led to the introduction of the millennial church.


Encyclopedia Britannica. (2015). Ann Lee. Retrieved on 28 November from 

Katie, B. (2017).  Martin Luther King Jr. and his impact on today. Retrieved on 28 November 2017 from 

Morrow, L. (2012). The 20 most influential Americans of all time: Thomas Jefferson. Retrieved on 28 November 2017 from 

Time Staff (2010). The 20 most influential Americans of all time: George Washington. Retrieved on 28 November 2017 from 

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