Trump’s 1776 Commission to Promote ‘Patriotic Education

  • US President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order to set up a “national commission to promote patriotic education” in the US.
  • The initiative, dubbed the ‘1776 Commission’, is an apparent counter to The 1619 Project, a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of essays on African American history of the past four centuries,
  • Which explores the Black community’s contribution in nation-building since the era of slavery to modern times.

       What is The 1619 Project?

  • The Project is a special initiative of The New York Times Magazine, launched in 2019 to mark the completion of 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in colonial Virginia’s Jamestown in August 1619.

       What is Trump’s 1776 Commission?

  • Currently lagging behind Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in polls for the presidential race, Trump has sought to activate his right-wing supporters by doubling down on what he describes as “cancel culture”, “critical race theory” and “revisionist history”.
  • A new “1776 Commission”, would “encourage educators to teach children about the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding,” and teach the youth to “love America.”
  • By attacking The 1619 Project, Trump aims to win the support of conservatives who oppose its central idea that
    • US history should be reframed around the date of August 1619, and who insist that the nation’s story should be told the way it has been over the years– beginning with the year 1776,
    • When the Declaration of Independence was signed, or from 1788, when the US Constitution was ratified.