American Civics

Summary:

The American republic rests upon the foundation of “E Pluribus Unum” — out of many, one. Although the Founders knew from their own experience that a vast diversity in outlooks and opinions would be present among the country’s citizens, they understood that such diversity must rest upon principles and practices we hold in common. It is up to each generation to make sure that this foundational unity remains intact. This project on American Civics seeks to contribute to that worthy cause.

These pages will bring together, into one place, the clearest, most accessible materials on the American experiment. Visitors will gain insight into topics ranging from the “self-evident” truths described in the Declaration of Independence and the framework that the Constitution set in place to prevent tyranny and secure rights and liberties to the virtues citizens must possess in order to enjoy freedom and self-government. Nor will we shy away from exploring the greatest injustices in U.S. history, including slavery and racial discrimination. Present at the Founding, they were departures from the nation’s founding principles. Neither this paradox, nor these injustices define the American Identity, however. Rather, it is on the basis of those principles that they are rightly condemned—and ultimately addressed.  

Users will also find the 1776 Series: a collection of accessible essays written by scholars that explore how the American Founders understood themselves and the system of government they implemented. These essays will give readers a clear and concise understanding of important American themes, such as the republican nature of the U.S. Constitution and Abraham Lincoln’s deep appreciation of the moral foundations of American self-government. These pages will also curate modern thinking on topics such as balancing the desire for security with the innate American impulse for individual freedom; the challenge of preserving judicial independence in a polarized political environment; how to simultaneously foster intellectual curiosity and tolerance among a generation ready to take democracy’s baton and run with it.

About RealClear's American Civics Portal

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Essential Reading

  • Wilfred M. McClay, Heritage Foundation
    We live in anxious times. But there have been many times in our past that were far more anxious, and in which the reasons for...
  • Daniel J. Mahoney, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
    The founding fathers of modern republicanism had no qualms about appealing to the crucial role of the “founder” or “legislator”...
  • Lucas Morel, Heritage Foundation
    Bottom Line: Professor Lucas Morel argues that the 1619 Project’s curriculum promotes numerous historical errors regarding...
  • Peter C. Myers, Heritage Foundation
    Bottom Line: Professor Peter C. Myers looks to the example of Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist and advocate of civil and political...
  • Our newest theme portal explores the oldest governing document still in operation: the U.S. Constitution. From the debates...
  • Our student resources portal offers opportunities for elementary school, middle school, and high school to increase their...
  • Last summer, the New York Times Magazine launched The 1619 Project on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first...
  • American slavery was a blight upon the nation dedicated to the principle that “all men are created equal.” Chattel slavery...
  • Liberty is essential to the very fabric of America. People of other nations look to America as a beacon of liberty and hope, as an example...
  • What's the meaning of the Declaration of Independence's most famous principle, that "all men are created equal”...
  • The 1776 Series is a collection of original essays that explain the foundational themes of the American experience. Commissioned from...
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Carl Cannon's Great American Stories

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Multimedia

Bob Woodson, American Thought Leaders
Stephen Howard Browne & Adam J. White, Unprecidential
What I Can Teach You About Racism <div class="video-icon"></div>
Carol M. Swain, PragerU
Michael Beshloss & Stewart McLaurin, White House Historical Association
Peter C. Myers & Tony Williams, BRI Scholar Talks
Ian Rowe & Nique Fajors, The Invisible Men
Benjamin Kleinerman, Adam Carrington, et al., Jack Miller Center
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