History majors at George Washington University in our nation’s capital are no longer required to study United States history. It has been made optional to give students more flexibility, according to administrators.

Other reasons given for the drastic change are equally troubling. In the GWU student newspaper, faculty said the requirement was dropped to “recruit students” to the history department which has seen a drastic decrease in enrollment and “to better reflect a globalizing world” — a world which apparently sees America’s role in history as irrelevant.

“The main gain for students is that they have a great deal more flexibility than they had before, and they can adapt it to whatever their plans are for the future,” department chair Karin Schultheiss said. “Whatever they want to do, there’s a way to make the history department work for them.”

Even more alarming is how many other colleges are doing the same. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni has learned that more than two-thirds of the country’s colleges and universities don’t require history majors to take a U.S. History course in order to graduate. ACTA President Dr. Michael Poliakoff released a statement on the disturbing trend:

Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment. A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders. Elite colleges and universities in particular let the nation down when the examples they set devalue the study of United States history.

The great Edmund Burke quote comes to mind: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Besides, it’s probably more interesting to today’s millennial to enroll in classes like “Soccer and History in Latin America,” “Hip-Hop, Politics, and Youth Culture in America,” or perhaps even “Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl,” as ACTA points out are real courses.

I agree with ACTA’s Eric Bledsoe, who said, “It is the obligation of higher education to ensure that all students, especially history majors, understand their own history.”

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

3 × 5 =