Published on: July 29th, 2021

Hillsdale College Releases 1776 Curriculum

American history curriculum for grades K-12 offered for free to all who wish to learn

Recognizing the critical moment in which we live, Hillsdale College is releasing an American history and civics curriculum for grades K-12. It is available to the general public for free at

The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum, which covers the American Founding, the Civil War era, civics, and government, contains comprehensive lesson plans, homework assignments, quizzes, tests, study guides, and supplementary primary and secondary resource recommendations for teacher and student use.

The curriculum was developed by Hillsdale College’s K-12 Education Department, professors at the College, and teachers in Hillsdale’s affiliated classical schools. By the end of 2021, the curriculum will be expanded to include units on Colonial America, the Early Republic, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the Great Depression, the World Wars, the Cold War, and Modern America.

“This curriculum is a work of education,” says Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn. “It seeks to teach the truth of American history and to cultivate in students the knowledge and virtue necessary to live good lives as citizens.”

The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum was created by teachers and for teachers. While developing the curriculum’s layout, materials, and pedagogy, the K-12 Education Department used Hillsdale College’s decades of experience supporting teachers in K-12 education.  As a result, unlike some other curricula being developed by non-educator groups, the Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum meets the practical needs of parents and teachers on the frontlines of K-12 education.

Additionally, the curriculum’s content relies upon primary source documents and draws upon the insights of celebrated historians and political philosophers who taught or teach at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher education, including Princeton; Columbia; University of California, Berkeley; University of Chicago; Johns Hopkins; and Hillsdale College. The result treats American history, even its most controversial aspects, in a reasonable, respectful, and unbiased way.

“Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors—not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats,” says Dr. Kathleen O’Toole, assistant provost for K-12 education at Hillsdale College. “It comes from years of studying America, its history, and its founding principles, not some slap-dash journalistic scheme to achieve a partisan political end through students. It is a truly American education.”

Photos can be viewed here.

About Hillsdale in D.C.

Hillsdale in D.C. is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College to Washington, D.C. Its purpose is to teach the Constitution and the principles that give it meaning. Through the study of original source documents from American history—and of older books that formed the education of America’s founders—it seeks to inspire students, teachers, citizens, and policymakers to return the America’s principles to their central place in the political life of the nation.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College is an independent liberal arts college located in southern Michigan. Founded in 1844, the College has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 5.7 million. For more information, visit