Critique of the 1776 Commission Report





Critique of the 1776 Commission Report

Side-by-side Analysis and Rebuttal of its History and Memory Content, Rhetoric, Viewpoints, Pedagogy, and Authorship



[from the Preface]

This textbook is an annotated/augmented text based on the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission Report, published by the White House, United States of America, January 2021 (public domain).

This critique is needed because the 1776 Report includes many errors, omissions, and contested assertions. It also lacks context to help readers evaluate its content and messages independently. We justify this strong assertion via the content in this textbook.

For easy reading and interpretation, the original paragraphs of the 1776 Report are presented side-by-side with the corresponding the analysis/ rebuttal. Color coding and interactive buttons allow the reader to switch between the different categories of analysis.

The paragraph-by-paragraph analysis and rebuttal of the 1776 Report includes these categories:

  • History and Memory content -- historical facts, historical analysis, what we remember about history, why those memories are prominent, etc.
  • Rhetoric -- how the content is presented and to what end, e.g. factual statement, values statement, example, story, hyperbole, generalization, argumentation, etc.
  • Viewpoints -- whose viewpoints are expressed, and whose are excluded, and the implications
  • Pedagogy -- the educational process or methods expressed or implied
  • Authorship -- who authored the 1776 Report, issues about references, sources, and plagiarism

Consistent with all Wikibooks, this textbook adopts a neutral point of view, and therefore does not include essays or arguments regarding the values expressed in the 1776 Report, including philosophy (ethics, morals), social justice, politics, personal motives or biases of the authors, and similar. Readers interested in these perspectives and arguments are encouraged to look at the Further Reading section.

Intended audiences:

  • Teachers and students of Civics and US History -- high school and undergraduate college
  • Educational policy makers for high schools and undergraduate colleges
  • Teachers and students of communications, rhetoric, cultural studies, and education -- undergraduate college



Table of Contents


Analysis and Rebuttal Pages


(One wiki page for each page/column/paragraph)

I. Introduction page 1

II. The Meaning of the Declaration page 2

III. A Constitution of Principles page 6

IV. Challenges to America’s Principles page 10

Slavery page 10

Progressivism page 12

Fascism page 13

Communism page 14

Racism and Identity Politics page 15

V. The Task of National Renewal page 16

The Role of the Family page 17

Teaching America page 17

A Scholarship of Freedom page 18

The American Mind page 18

Reverence for the Laws page 19


Appendix I: The Declaration of Independence page 21

Appendix II: Faith and America’s Principles page 24

Appendix III: Created Equal or Identity Politics? page 29

Appendix IV: Teaching Americans about Their Country page 34

Additional Pages


(Any additional pages -- beyond the structure above -- go here)

Original Text


External link (PDF file): President’s Advisory 1776 Commission Report, published by the White House, United States of America, January 2021 (public domain)

Original text -- (As wiki text, with a "section label" for each paragraph for easy transclusion)