Johnathon, there are two historical periods all Americans should study:
We modeled some of America after Rome. The way a democratic republic grows, falls into dictatorship, and then collapses is obviously of great importance to us.
But in many ways the most important history for Americans is the English Civil War. It is our birth. The United States started as British colony and these were the events that first formed us. In our minds we are more like the people who fought over tyranny, religious freedom, and arbitrary government than we are like the Ancient Romans. Some of our social movements are obviously descended from the ideas in that struggle. And what that war brought about was the first modern government. Some of the fracture lines in our society are still apparent because they never healed.
Revolutionspodcast.com is going through the English civil war. I highly recommend it.
On a personal note, Johnathan, this is where your father’s family came from. Phillip Bullis was born at the start of the conflict and was buried at the Puritan Second Church in Boston where many of the English republican rebels found themselves.