Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch Miami: Top myths about American history

We are taught it at school, and as a result of this everyone thinks they know all about the history of America like the back of their hand.

However, as life progresses, it soon becomes apparent that this isn’t the case. In fact, if you were to listen in to a lot of conversations about the subject, you would quickly find that a lot of people get so-called basic facts about history completely wrong.

This is something that Patrick Dwyer Merrill Lynch Miami has discovered a lot through recent times. While he might have carved his career as a hugely successful individual in the financial industry, he retains a keen interest in history and is quickly able to separate the fact from the myth.

Following on from this, let’s now take a look at some of the best misconceptions he has come across about American history.

Myth #1 – Columbus discovered America

This is perhaps one of the most amazing myths going around, and that’s not because most people in the world fall for it hook, line and sinker.

While Columbus might be credited with discovering America, if one were to delve into facts it would quickly become apparent that this wasn’t the case in the slightest. After all, the continent already had people living there, while Vikings had visited the regions many moons prior to him. If we turn back the clock even further, there is evidence to suggest that another explorer, going by the name of Leif Erikson, visited in the 10th Century.

Myth #2 – Benjamin Franklin and electricity

Next on the list is a myth about one of America’s favourite scientists. It is widely suggested that Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity when in reality, this didn’t actually occur.

Of course, Franklin played a major role in electricity and whether you are based in Miami or the other side of the country, you will of course be able to appreciate his findings. His work was primarily based around experiments though. Electricity existed as a concept, and Franklin’s work was mainly focussed on advancing this concept.

Did he define positive and negative currents? Yes, he did. But if you are asking if he specifically invented it, well that’s a resounding no this time around.

Myth #3 – The Emancipation Proclamation was to thank for freeing American slaves

This is another one of those myths that regularly does the rounds when in reality, it’s a complete fabrication. Sure, the Emancipation Proclamation played its part in freeing slaves in 1863 – but it only freed those people who had not already been freed in certain states.

Instead, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution was put together in 1865 and this was the reason why slavery was finally abolished in America. Sure, the Emancipation Proclamation might have helped in a minor way, but the big development here was the 13th amendment and this tends to be something that is largely forgotten about by those people who like to discuss history.

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