What is 1776 Commission?

The White House recently released the 1776 Commission report. The 1776 Commission was setup by President Trump when he was lagging behind the president elect Joe Biden during the US President Election 2020.

The 1776 Commission

The 1776 Commission was a counter to the 1619 project. It was an eighteen-member commission. It did not include any historians. Rather, it comprised of conservative politicians and activists. It was an advisory commission. The commission recently released its report on Martin Luther King Day (January 18, 2021).

About the 1619 project

The 1619 project is a collection of essays on African American history of past four centuries. It is also a Pulitzer prize winner. The essays of 1619 project explores the contribution of black community towards nation-building. It covers the period between the era of slavery and modern times.

Key Findings of 1776 Commission

The commission has identified racism, progressivism and identity politics as the challenges to the United States of America.

The report refers John Calhoun as the leading fore runner of identity politics. John Calhoun was an American politician who held important positions including Vice President of US (1825-1832). He strongly supported slavery.

Identity Politics

It refers to political positions based on the perspectives and interests of social groups. For instance, it includes social organisations based on social class, age, caste, culture, sex.

Identity Politics in India

In India, religious identities, rise of low castes and linguistic groups have contributed to identity politics. The other impacts of identity politics in India are as follows:

  • Formation of coalition government based on ideology and identity
  • The rise of state and regional parties. For example, Shiv Sena, BSP, etc.
  • On the positive side, the political parties are able to focus on particular sections that are deprived of economic opportunities in identity politics.
  • On the negative side, it has sowed seeds of enmity and hatred among different sections of the society based on religion, castes and ethnicity.

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