|December 2000 Newsletter
How politically correct, how pro-big government, how anti-free market will
the next generation of U.S. History textbooks be? Major public school
textbook publishers will soon put finishing touches on these, for
submission to Texas early in 2002. Those books will be far too long for
teachers actually to read before choosing one. But they will undergo our
toughest scrutiny ever, using our expanded standard review criteria (see
below) to document our ratings. Informed mainstream educators will
reject extremist U.S. History texts.
For example, in one current U.S. History book, removal of the Cherokees (104 student text lines) is almost twice as important as the War of 1812 (58 lines), more than four times as important as the Monroe Doctrine (24 lines), and infinitely more important than Jackson's war against the Bank of the U.S. (zero lines). American WWII military action in Europe (161 lines) is only about half as important as discrimination in the U.S. from 1941-45 (317 lines). Male-female sex roles in the 1950s are as important as the Korean War (97 lines each). We could go on.
Real U.S. History survey texts apportion space among topics based on how many people they affected for how long. This book is not a survey, but a politically-
Also in this text, pro-big
government tunnel vision means malign neglect of major Constitutional
conflicts. The entire philosophy of strict construction and original
intent is absent. Almost the whole Jeffersonian-
The contrast is stark between that disinterest in states' rights in U.S. political history, and the advocacy of politically-correct social history. Such books demand diversity, yet deny dissent; preach inclusion, but practice exclusion; tout critical thinking, and shield ignorance. Textbook sales reps seem unaware of this. Editors go mum when we document it. How can advocates for students combat this? Through subject-
Every so often, panels of "experts" issue scathing indictments of existing public school U.S. History books … to little avail due to several common faults. Unlike them, we tie into an influential state adoption process that we know inside and out. Unlike them, one of our reviewers reads all the texts so we can better rank them. Unlike them, we have concrete, constructive standard review criteria. The U.S. History textbook standard review criteria on the following pages obviously take this subject where the education establishment does not want to go.
These facts relate to major topics that all U.S. History textbooks cover, but each expresses a politically incorrect, anti-big government, and/or pro-free market perspective that the education establishment seeks to censor. (This is only a partial listing. Contact us for more.)
Colonial religion fostered independence.
British Acts of Parliament between 1763 and 1775 violated all these rights of Englishmen.
The first Congress refused Madison's bid to word the Bill of
Rights to apply to the states as well as to the federal
Judicial review, said the Federalist, would determine whether executive and legislative acts were within their Constitutional grants of power. Threat of impeachment would keep judges from using judicial review to legislate.
To insure the uniform and predictable rule of law, Jefferson and Madison said the original intent of a law's authors must prevail.
Jefferson and Madison denied that the federal government alone was the sole judge of the constitutionality of its acts, for that would make the federal government rather than the Constitution sovereign. States too, they wrote, should sit in judgment of the extent of federal power under the Constitution, to help protect the people.
Jeffersonians repealed the Judiciary Act of 1801, firing 16 federal judges by abolishing their offices.
As a further check and balance, Jeffersonians and Jacksonians thought each branch of the federal government (not just the Supreme Court) should decide an action's constitutionality.
When institutions of government disagreed on constitutional
interpretation, Jeffersonians and Jacksonians looked to the people
to resolve the dispute at the next election.
Following the original intent of the 14th Amendment, Supreme Court rulings at first narrowly defined the rights of both whites (1873 Slaughterhouse cases) and of blacks (1883 Civil Rights cases) as U.S. citizens.
Constitutional restraints on federal power gradually diminished.
Supreme Court power grew over time due to neglect of the original intent of the Constitution.
Supreme Court equated what was wise, just, or reasonable, with what was constitutional.
Reaganomics had benefits as well as defects.
How this info helps you
• Having it on hand saves you much time and effort.
• Teachers can supplement U. S. History texts that omit it.
• Those adopting U.S. History books can use it as grounds to reject the worst.
• It gives publishers guidelines for improving future editions.