The 1776 Commission, also known as the 1776 Project, was an advisory committee established in September 2020 by President Donald Trump to support what he called “patriotic education”. The commission released The 1776 Report on January 18, 2021, two days before the end of Trump’s term. Academic Historians overwhelmingly criticized the report, saying it was “filled with errors and partisan politics”. The commission was terminated by President Joe Biden on January 20, 2021. We have read the report and found it to be a fair and informative recounting of history. The current administration has their reasons to oppose “Patriotic Education”, but we offer this for you to read and judge for yourself.
The principles of the Declaration have been threatened not only at home. In the 20th Century, two global movements threatened to destroy freedom and subject mankind to a new slavery. Though ideological cousins, the forces of Fascism and Communism were bitter enemies in their wars to achieve world domination. What united both totalitarian movements was their utter disdain for natural rights and free peoples.
Fascism first arose in Italy under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, largely in response to the rise of Bolshevism in Russia. Like the Progressives, Mussolini sought to centralize power under the management of so-called experts. All power—corporate and political—would be exercised by the state and directed toward the same goal. Individual rights and freedoms hold no purchase under Fascism. Its principle is instead, in Mussolini’s words, “everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” Eventually, Adolf Hitler in Germany wed this militant and dehumanizing political movement to his pseudoscientific theory of Aryan racial supremacy, and Nazism was born.
The Nazi juggernaut quickly conquered much of Europe. The rule of the Axis Powers “is not a government based upon the consent of the governed,” said President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “It is not a union of ordinary, self-respecting men and women to protect themselves and their freedom and their dignity from oppression. It is an unholy alliance of power and pelf to dominate and enslave the human race.”
Before the Nazis could threaten America in our own hemisphere, the United States built an arsenal of democracy, creating more ships, planes, tanks, and munitions than any other power on earth. Eventually, America rose up, sending millions of troops across the oceans to preserve freedom.
Everywhere American troops went, they embodied in their own ranks and brought with them the principles of the Declaration, liberating peoples and restoring freedom. Yet, while Fascism died in 1945 with the collapse of the Axis powers, it was quickly replaced by a new threat, and the rest of the 20th century was defined by the United States’ mortal and moral battle against the forces of Communism.