At The Federalist, Jonathan Pidluzny explains the sad fact that some American universities are abandoning their history programs. At the same time, Americans are showing a critical deficit in their knowledge of the country’s history. A retreat from the field of academic history will only further the national ignorance. Pidluzny writes (abridged):
Jefferson understood that developing a national consciousness and a shared sense of purpose requires, first and foremost, that citizens understand the principles that enliven their political system. Celebrating our history is just as important. The sense that we share common ancestors, that we can be proud of the events in our past that forged the world we live in today (and that give us cause to work to build a more perfect union for our posterity), generate bonds of affection that tie citizens together—and to a country that will outlive any one of us as individuals.
To their shame, American universities have abandoned the task of cultivating a sense of common purpose, with ruinous consequences. Today, most Americans would quite literally fail the citizenship test. A 2019 study conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that “only one state can pass the U.S. Citizenship exam” and that, nationally, only four in 10 demonstrate a basic understanding of American history.
Read more here.
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