Critique of the 1776 Commission Report/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, and lacks context to help readers evaluate its content and messages independently. We justify this strong assertion via the content of this textbook.

Presentation edit

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.

Content edit

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

Appendix I. Declaration of Independence from the 1776 Report is not included in the side-by-side analysis because it is simply the text of the Declaration, without any addition content by the report authors.

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 edit

  • 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