An old ugly landing page


Is the U.S. Government
a Democracy or a republic?

How does it work?

Can we trust it?
Should we?

Relevant, Practical, Nonpartisan​, Knowledge

RELEVANT: Todays’ issues of trust and distrust in government and in political factions had strong parallels during the framers’ time. We show how the framers used the Constitution to manage their political distrust, how the system changed over time and why, and how those changes might affect our trust today.

PRACTICAL: "What and when" are transformed from trivia to practical working knowledge with the addition of "why and how."

NON-PARTISAN: We advocate only for free and fair political competition with winners accountable to voters. We do not advocate for political candidates or parties.

KNOWLEDGE: Our team includes professionals who have participated in government or promoted democracy around the world. Our reviewers include civics experts, professors of U.S. history, constitutional law, political science and other applicable fields.

Expert Reviewers

We strive to ensure each of our courses is of the highest quality. Each course has been reviewed by at least one if not several experts in civic education, U.S. history, constitutional law, political science, or other applicable fields.

Jay Barth
M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics, Emeritus;
Hendrix College

Cheryl Cook-Kallio
State Coordinator for California We the People and Project Citizen

Matthew Crenson
Professor Emeritus and Academy Professor,
John Hopkins University

Jennifer Dresden
Associate Director, Democracy and Governance Program
Georgetown University

Benjamin Ginsberg,
David Bernstein Professor of Political Science,
Johns Hopkins University

Mark J. Molli
Associate Director (Retired)
Center for Civic Education

Kenneth Newton
Professor of Comparative Politics, Emeritus
University of Southampton

Sonja Zmerli
Professor of Political Science
Sciences Po Grenoble

Our Team

We are drawn from conservative, progressive and independent thinkers. Our ages range from low 20s through the 80s.  Most of our board members have deep experience in teaching or promoting democracy around the world, and some have been actively involved in politics at the local, state, and national levels.

Our Partnership

Our Short Courses

Course 1

America: Republic or Democracy?

Is the US system of government a democracy or a republic? What is illiberal democracy? What kinds of government systems do other countries have?

America: Republic or Democracy?

1 lesson - 15 minutes
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Course 2

Democracy is Precious

Compare non-democratic and illiberal systems of government with our system. Why is our Republic, even with its faults, worth protecting and improving?

Democracy is Precious

1 lesson - 15 minutes
View Course

Course 3

What Should Governments Do For Us?

Get an overview of what most governments typically do, with links to comparative data around the world.

What Should Governments Do For Us?

1 lesson - 15 minutes
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Course 4

Fear & Fear-Mongering

Fear-mongering is used a lot these days. Learn how detect it and how to handle it.

Fear & Fear-Mongering

1 lesson - 15 minutes
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Course 5

Political Trust & Distrust

Who can we trust to make decisions about policy priorities? Is there a trustworthy system for choosing our leaders, policies, and projects?

Political Trust and Distrust

2 lessons - 30 minutes
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Course 6

The Presidency

How did the framer's trust and distrust shape their views on the presidency? What does the Constitution say about what presidents must and must not do? How do things work now?

The Presidency

7 lessons - 15 minutes each
View Course

Our courses are free for everyone only with help from good people like you.
“Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” –John Adams

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The Center for Free, Fair, and Accountable Democracy is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

EIN: 83-1505463

CFFAD is non-partisan.  We do not participate in, or intervene in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

Financial statements are available from the State Division of Consumer Affairs, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services, P.O. Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218.

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