“Historians responded with dismay and anger Monday after the White House’s ‘1776 Commission’ released a report that it said would help Americans better understand the nation’s history by ‘restoring patriotic education.'”
“It’s a hack job. It’s not a work of history,” according to James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association. “It’s a work of contentious politics designed to stoke culture wars.”
The 1776 Commission was formed in September 2020 in response to The New York Times’s publication of the 1619 Project, a pedagogical unit developed by journalists and historians to foreground the history of slavery in American history.
Although some historians have criticized certain aspects of the 1619 Project, it has received generally positive feedback from many history professors and teachers.
The “1776 Report”, in contrast, is receiving nearly uniform condemnation by historians.
Sean Wilentz, Professor of History at Princeton University, sharply criticized the report, according to The Washington Post. “It reduces history to hero worship. … It’s the flip side of those polemics, presented as history, that charge the nation was founded as a slavocracy, and that slavery and white supremacy are the essential themes of American history. It’s basically a political document, not history.”
The Washington Post reports on historians’ criticisms of the “1776 Report.”
The American Historical Association has issued a statement criticizing the “1776 Report.”