Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government


In the Spirit of ’76

Leading a Second American Revolution in the Nation’s Classrooms

The 250th anniversary of
American Independence is almost here.

They said that it couldn’t be done. That a self-governing republic of free citizens couldn’t be sustained. Back in 1776, elite opinion predicted that the new American nation would fail within a generation.

Instead, we have not only survived but prospered and flourished for nearly a quarter of a millennia.

Instead, dozens of nations and countless freedom movements throughout the world have quoted the Declaration of Independence or cited it as inspiration in throwing off the yoke of oppression.

But can the next generation of Americans defend freedom? Do they understand and respect the principles of the Declaration of Independence?   

A leader in civic education

Since 1983, the Ashbrook Center has established a reputation as an innovating leader in civic education, offering educational programs and resources for teachers.

Ashbrook utilizes a uniquely effective active-learning approach based on the discussion of primary documents.

Documents reveal the story of America in the words of those who lived and wrote it.

Discussion of primary documents allows students to discover for themselves the truth of the American story and cultivates the habits of good citizenship.

Today, the Ashbrook network includes over 27,600 teachers from all 50 states. Over the course of a career, one teacher can reach up to 5,000 students.

A revolutionary spirit

Now, our goal is to equip and sustain a transforming corps of teachers to lead an educational revolution in America’s classrooms—transforming the way American history, government, and civics are taught and understood.

In the Spirit of ’76, we aim to restore the noble principles of our Founding to their rightful place in the hearts and minds of the American people.

Over the next three years, the Ashbrook Center will equip 45,000 teachers and reignite the Spirit of ’76 with a plan to:

  • Host 650 one-day seminars for up to 11,000 teachers and 85 multi-day seminars at historic sites for up to 1,700 teachers;
  • Offer 490 on-campus and online classes through our graduate program and increase enrollment by 30%;
  • Attract 3 million annual visitors to org;
  • Complete a comprehensive and authoritative 45-volume Core Documents Curriculum:
  • Grow and sustain the network of Ashbrook Teachers through outreach and marketing, sustained relationships with teachers, evaluation, and collaboration.

In anticipation of the nation’s 250th birthday, Ashbrook is prepared to embark on a three-year, $13 million plan.