The Spirit of ’76 is a historically-based, educational movie geared toward helping today’s home schoolers, public school students and adults better understand the importance of the Constitution, and why and how it is so easily subverted by politicians past and present.

Throughout the movie, Mike Church seeks to better educate the people in hope of stopping, or at least slowing, the tide of tyrannical government overreach.

Spoiler Alert! Reading beyond this trailer will reveal portions of the movie. 

The movie begins with flashes of newspaper clippings of some of the more notable, federal acts of overreach in recent memory, and then fades into a discussion between William Brockenbrough and Chief Justice John Marshall. They are arguing over the McCulloch v Maryland Supreme Court case. This, of course, is the case that Justice Marshall used to put a huge nail in the states’ rights coffin. He ruled that the federal government has the power to usurp states in order to promote “functional government,” whatever that means. Basically, he invented a contrived meaning in the Constitution to bring about the result he wanted.

The movie then shifts focus to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Here, Church highlights James Madison’s thoughts on federal government supremacy and how these ideas have developed over time. He maintains that an incorrect sense of nationalism, jingoism and a wrong-headed idea that the United States is just a “blob” of land known as America and not individual States with sovereignty has evolved over time.  An imperfect illustration of sovereignty would be to think of Virginia to the federal government as France is to the EU.) These scenes make clear the system we see today has drifted away from the vision of the founding generation.

The video narrative illustrates how this incorrect nationalist view has become the version of reality you and your kids were/are taught in the government indoctrination camps known as the public school system. There is, however, another view advocating state sovereignty that public schools avoid teaching. John Taylor of Caroline County, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and several other founding era figures tirelessly expressed this view. Church spends a good bit of the movie explaining these ideas. This section of the movie ends with the end of the Philadelphia Convention, as  the representatives to travel back to their home states and begin the state ratification processes. In the closing scene, someone asks Ben Franklin what they have created, and he famously responds with, “A Republic…if you can keep it.”

Church next focuses his attention on the Virginia Ratification Convention because it was arguably the largest and most influential state of that time. He epically revives Patrick Henry’s Nostradamus-esque speech in which he forecasts what the country will look like in the future if nationalism prevails. I found the speech chilling, on point and maddening at the same time. It Illustrates that Americans from from the founding era to the present have held and pushed views destructive to a true, small government, states’ rights, nationally limited, republican form of government.

The concluding section of the film is a “where are they now” style recap of the key players in the film and their notable accomplishments.

This film is a must see for anyone with children in or near high school age and anyone who has a desire to educate themselves beyond the government view of what  taught in public schools.

Church believes in this so much, he funded this project and took time away from his family and friends to create it. His efforts paid off in a powerful, well-researched, historically accurate movie explaining America’s founding principles.

The Spirit of ’76 is a 2D animated feature film created by Mike Church. He is a talk show host on SXM Patriot channel 125. You can listen to his show Monday thru Friday from 5-8 am Central.  

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