The American way of life developed gradually over time. Many important events helped shape American life, and it continues to change today. The various people, ethnicities, and cultures who are part of American today have all helped to build America in one way or another. Many changes occurred just in the first 100 years of the American nation, from the Revolutionary War in 1776 through the centennial celebration of independence in 1776. These changes include the war of 1812, the U.S. civil war, the expansion of America's boundaries, and much more. Other notable events continued to occur, such as the First World War, the Second World War, the beginning of the Nuclear Age, and the Cold War.
An interesting aspect of American history is that it is a topic of importance to students of all ages, including undergraduate and graduate students, but it is also a topic that generates interest among everyone from professionals in history-related fields to amateur history enthusiasts. Modern technology, with the integration of multiple forms of media into online resources, provides history researchers with an unprecedented amount of materials for historical study. The world's most comprehensive American history encyclopedias are no more than a few keystrokes away for anyone with a computer and Internet access. From multi-volume encyclopedias in the mid-20th century to CD-ROMs of the late 20th century, and now to vast online encyclopedia websites, history websites, and magazine archives online, the progress of technology continues to increase access to historical archives for students, professionals, and enthusiasts.
Many subjects in the American high school curriculum, including education news and current events, tend to incorporate aspects of American history, and therefore access to high-quality history resources are crucial for students as well as teachers and professors. Social studies, American government, and various specialized history courses all incorporate different information about American history. These materials, in an online and fully accessible multi-media format, are extremely useful in the development of teaching materials and lesson plans, just as they are critical to students for creating term papers and research projects.