This is one of the reasons why many people distrust modern liberal arts educations. I have read arguments on both sides. Those in favor of leaving out the optimism and great leaders in American history often claim that students get that elsewhere. But they do not.
I thought the story below might be an exaggeration, so I got the test. It is indeed negative and it leaves out most of our triumphs. For example, innovation was a big part of U.S. success. Nothing. America was a magnet for immigrants because of the opportunity offered, i.e. the pull factor. The tests emphasizes the push factors. I will include a link to the test in the comments, so that everyone can come to his/her own conclusions.
I got my MA in history, but it was mostly Europeans and ancient history. I learned most of my American history as an FSO. I thought that I should know about my country if I wanted to represent it well, so I studied, visited historical places attended lectures and read a lot. I have doing this now for more than 30 years now. Maybe because my view is based on this, my view of America is optimistic. I have been drawn to accomplishments and innovations. That doesn’t mean that I ignore the dark periods, but they do not define our country; overall the pluses far outweigh the minuses. I do not think this is a patriotic view; it is a realistic one.
It takes an intelligent person to be cynical but a wise one not to be.
In that sample test, I do not find things that are wrong, but if you knew all those things you would have a very incomplete view of America. It emphasizes the negative. You would miss the heroic taming of a continent, the innovation that created great prosperity for lots of people, the achievements in science and technology and the successful struggles against totalitarian communism, fascism and Nazism.
I suppose I would not be happy not matter what. There is so much that needs to be there and so little space to hold it.