The Formula for America’s Success: FUPR™ 

FUPR™ — Freedom, Unity, Progress, Responsibility 

AHEF believes a simple yet distinct formula exists in American culture and society to explain America’s unparalleled success. This ingenious system of self-government, designed by the American Founders, has worked incredibly well to help millions of citizens live and work with dignity, peace, and happiness. This formula consists of four key historical characteristics or themes: 


The most important characteristic of America is freedom. The early Americans and Founders of our nation believed that their freedom came not from their position in society–most were commoners–or from any man, ruler, or government. Rather, it came from a Creator who endows all human beings, by virtue of their humanity, with unalienable or unremovable rights, including life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Armed with this belief that their freedom was a gift from God–not a privilege that could be granted or taken away by a man–the early American patriots sought national independence over subjection to England. They committed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to this cause. In this sense, America historically has been a God-loving nation. Though citizens are free to believe in or not believe in God, the American philosophy is based on the idea that God is the source of man’s rights and freedoms. 


The second most important characteristic of America is unity. After gaining their independence during the American Revolution, America’s original thirteen colonies formed a new nation together. The diverse colonies and citizens found it difficult to agree on how to govern themselves in this new nation. Yet, despite their differences, they united under a Constitution that affirmed the ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence. This unity is described in the opening words of the Constitution: “We the People…” It is also expressed in the United States’ national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” or “From Many, One,” adopted in 1776. Though Americans have always been diverse and appreciative of their diversity, the early Americans’ emphasis on unity strengthened their nation and held it together. An unbalanced emphasis on diversity, as often stressed in education today, often neglects the necessity of unity among the American people and weakens national identity.

A 2008 study by the Bradley Foundation called E Pluribus Unum observes that “America is enriched by diversity. It is preserved by unity. Today, the opposite idea seems to be taking hold–every group is encouraged to retain its separate identity…and too often, students…are taught more about America’s failings than its successes.”  


The third most important characteristic of America is progress. After America achieved freedom and unified itself under the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which were then codified in the U.S. Constitution, the result was unequaled socioeconomic progress throughout all of America. History shows that America’s socioeconomic advances in science, engineering, inventions, healthcare, communications, transportation, goods and services, and more are unparalleled.

Progress benefits not only America but countries worldwide. Several factors determine a country’s rate of economic progress: freedom, capital investment, energy, and education. These factors increase productivity, output of goods and services, and living standards. Without them, progress is adversely impacted.

  • Freedom – Freedom unleashes human ingenuity and creativity to find new, better ways to improve socioeconomic living standards for human beings. In fact, combining freedom and unity in America has resulted in unprecedented socioeconomic growth benefitting more people than ever before. Freedom is maintained through minimal intrusion of government.
  • Education – Education is essential for understanding how products and services are developed with existing and new methods that increase human productivity. Subsequently, education is essential for the improved operation and maintenance of products and services in order to increase human and national productivity for a better quality of life.
  • Capital Investment – A reasonable, sensible business climate encourages people and investors to take risks and invest, increasing productivity. Capital investment is maintained through a modest, appropriate tax structure. 
  • Energy – Once Freedom and Capital Investment create new, improved products and services, abundant and affordable sources of energy are needed to power these advances. Energy is necessary to provide increased productivity and better living conditions. 

What do Americans do with their unparalleled prosperity from Progress? Americans help their fellow man in this nation and worldwide with acts of generosity and volunteer initiatives. In 2021, 56% of Americans donated or volunteered to support various causes and help others less fortunate in America and worldwide.

This level of voluntary giving is unprecedented in world history, far exceeding that of any other country. This characteristic to help one’s fellow man comes from the American Bible-based view of love or charity and doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. 


The fourth most important characteristic of the United States is responsibility. In a Constitutional Republic such as the United States, the people are responsible for governing the nation. Citizens are morally obligated to be civilly educated and involved, elect ethical leaders, create just laws, seek the common good, and practice restrained government.

As such, the Founders repeatedly emphasized that this republic requires virtuous citizens to function successfully. Further, they believed that good religion is the most effective way for people to gain virtue. For this reason, they greatly valued and encouraged virtuous religion in a free republic. Founder John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

Appreciating America’s Judeo-Christian Values

Despite America’s outstanding achievements, many schools, colleges, and universities routinely criticize the American system and way of life as being irredeemably flawed. While understanding America’s imperfections is important for improvement, students and citizens must also learn to appreciate America’s successes and contributions. 

FUPR™, America’s formula for success, combined with its love for fellow man, reflects America’s great Judeo-Christian heritage. Each generation must learn anew this heritage to appreciate and maintain it for future generations. As Thomas Jefferson stated, “If a nation expects to remain ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” 

See also: 
FUPR™: The Formula for the American Experiment (PDF) 
Historic & Contemporary Quotes on American Principles (PDF) 


Dr. Danilo Petranovich is an Advising Scholar for AHEF.  Dr. Petranovich is the Director of the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Previously, he taught political science at Duke University and Yale University.  His scholarly expertise is in nineteenth-century European and American political and social thought, with a special emphasis on American culture and Abraham Lincoln.  He has authored a number of articles on Lincoln and is currently writing a book on nationalism and the North in antebellum America.  He is a member of Harvard’s Kirkland House.  He holds a B. A. from Harvard and a Ph. D. in Political Science from Yale University.

Dr. Richard J. Gonzalez (1912-1998) is Co-Founder of AHEF.  Dr. Gonzalez served as Chief Economist and a member of the Board of Directors for Humble Oil and Refining Company (later Exxon Mobil) in Houston, Texas, for 28 years.  Later, he served as an economic consultant to various federal agencies and studies including the Department of Defense and the National Energy Study. 

He consulted with the Petroleum Administration for Defense and the Office of Defense Mobilization. In 1970, he was appointed by the U. S. Secretary of the Interior to the National Energy Study.  In addition, Gonzalez chaired and directed many petroleum industry boards and committees.  He served as director of the National Industrial Conference Board, chairman of the Economics Advisory Committee-Interstate Oil Compact Commission, and chairman of the National Petroleum Council Drafting Committee on National Oil Policy.  Gonzalez also held visiting professorships at the University of Texas, University of Houston, University of New Mexico, Stanford University, and Northwestern University.  From 1983-1991, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Texas IC2 Institute (Innovation, Creativity, and Capital).

Gonzalez authored many articles and papers on topics ranging from energy economics to the role of progress in America. His articles include “Economics of the Mineral Industry” (1976), “Energy and the Environment: A Risk Benefit Approach” (1976), “Exploration and Economics of the Petroleum Industry” (1976), “Exploration for U. S. Oil and Gas” (1977), “National Energy Security” (1978), and “How Can U.S. Energy Production Be Increased?” (1979).

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Gonzalez earned his B.A. in Mathematics, M.A. in Economics, and Ph.D. in Economics (Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors) from the University of Texas at Austin.  He was and still is the youngest candidate ever to earn his Ph.D. from UT-Austin at the age of 21 in 1934.

In 1993, Dr. and Mrs. Gonzalez were recognized by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) with the Bronze Good Citizenship Medals for “Notable Services on Behalf of American Principles.”

Selected Articles:
1. “What Makes America Great? An Address before the Dallas Chapter Society for the Advancement of Management” (1951)
2. “Power for Progress” (1952)
3. “Increasing Importance of Economic Education” (1953)
4. “Federal Spending and Deficits Must Be Controlled to Stop Inflation” (1978)
5. “What Enabled Americans to Achieve Great Progress? Keys to Remarkable Economic Progress of the United States of America” (1989)
6. “The Establishment of the United States of America” (1991)

Eugenie Gonzalez is Co-Founder of AHEF. Mrs. Gonzalez was elected to the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Board of Trustees with Dr. Herman Barnett III and David Lopez from 1972-1976 and was a key designer and advocate for HISD’s Magnet School program.  With HISD and AHEF in 1993, she designed and implemented HISD’s annual American Heritage Month held every November throughout HISD. 

Jeannie was recognized in 1993 by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) for “Notable Services on Behalf of American Principles” with the Bronze Good Citizenship Medal and in 2011 by the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for “Outstanding Achievement through Education Pursuits” with the Mary Smith Lockwood Medal.  In 2004, she was honored to receive HISD’s first American Heritage Month Exemplary Citizenship Award.

Jeannie was a volunteer, participant, and supporter of M. D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Gethsemane United Methodist Church, Houston Grand Jury Association (board member), League of Women Voters, Houston Area Forum, the Mayor’s Charter Study Committee, Vision America, Houston Parks Department, and Houston Tennis Association.  She was instrumental in the founding of the Houston Tennis Association and Houston Tennis Patrons.

In her youth, Jeannie was the leading women’s tennis player in the Midwest Section of the US Lawn Tennis Association and competed at the U. S. National Championships.  She attended by invitation and became the first women’s tennis player at the University of Texas at Austin.  In 1932, 1933, and 1934, Jeannie was women’s finalist at the Houston Invitational Tennis Tournament which became the River Oaks Invitational Tennis Tournament and is now the USTA Clay Court Championships.  She was instrumental in bringing some of the nation’s top amateur tennis players to that event.  Jeannie became the first teaching tennis professional at Houston Country Club and River Oaks Country Club, starting active junior programs at each.  Jeannie and her father, Jack Sampson, were jointly inducted into the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame in 2012.

Claudine Kamrath is Outreach Coordinator, Office Manager, and Resource Designer for AHEF. She oversees outreach efforts and office administration. She also collaborates on educational resource formatting and design.  She has served as an Elementary Art Teacher in Texas as well as a Communications and Design Manager for West University United Methodist Church in Houston. She also worked as a childrens’ Camp Counselor at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston.  She holds a B.A. in Art and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Texas at Austin as well as Texas Teacher Certification from the University of Houston. She has served in various children’s and student ministries.

Dr. Brian Domitrovic is an Advising Scholar for AHEF.  Dr. Domitrovic is a Senior Associate and the Richard S. Strong Scholar at the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics. He is also Department Chair and Professor of History at Same Houston State University.  He teaches American and European History and Economics.  His specialties also include Economic History, Intellectual History, Monetary Policy, and Fiscal Policy.  He has written articles, papers, and books–including Econoclasts–in these subjects.  He is a board member of the Center for Western Civilization, Thought & Policy at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a trustee of the Philadelphia Society.  He has received several awards including the Director’s Award from Intercollegiate Studies Institute and fellowship grants from Earhart Foundation, Krupp Foundation, Princeton, Texas A&M, and SHSU.  He holds a B. A. in History & Mathematics from Columbia University, an M. A. in History from Harvard University, and a Ph. D. in History, with graduate studies in Economics, from Harvard University.

Jack Kamrath is Co-Founder and Vice-President of AHEF.  A Texas state champion and nationally-ranked tennis player during his high school and college years, Kamrath is the Co-Founder and Principal of Tennis Planning Consultants (TPC) in Houston, Texas, since 1970. TPC is the first, oldest, and most prolific tennis facility design and consulting firm in the United States and world.  Mr. Kamrath is also the founder and owner of Kamrath Construction Company and has owned and managed various real estate operating companies.  He worked with Brown and Root in construction and human resources in Vietnam during the Vietnam War from 1966-1970. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston.  In 2008, AHEF President Mr. Kamrath and AHEF received the Distinguished Patriot Award from the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) for leadership in preserving America’s heritage and the teaching of good citizenship principles.

1.  1776:  From Oppression to Freedom
2.  FUPR:  The Formula for the American Experiment
2.  In Support of Our Pledge of Allegiance
3.  A Summation of America’s Greatest Ever Threat to Its Survival and Perpetuation
4.  A Brief Overview:  The Moral Dimension of Rule of Law in the U. S. Constitution (editor)

Dr. Michael Owens is Director of Education of AHEF. He has served as a Presenter/Trainer of AHEF teacher training workshops. Owens has taken on a number of administration leadership roles in Texas public education throughout his career–including Superintendent in Dripping Springs ISD, Assistant Superintendent in Friendswood ISD, and Associate Executive Director of Instruction Services for Region IV Education Service Center. He has also served as Director of Exemplary Programs for the Texas Education Agency, Director of Curriculum and Instruction for College Station ISD, and Director of Elementary and Secondary Education for College Station ISD. Owens has led many professional development worships for the Texas School Boards Association, Texas Assessment, Texas Education Agency, and others. He has specialization in educational technology systems and educational assessments, and has Texas teaching experience. He currently serves as Texas Technology Engineering Literacy (TEL) test administrator for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for part of Texas. He holds a B.S. and a M.Ed. from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Ed.D. from the University of North Texas.  He retired in 2021.

Angela E. Kamrath is President and Editorial Director of AHEF.  She is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Miracle of America: The Influence of the Bible on the Founding History and Principles of the United States of America for a People of Every Belief. She is editor and co-contributor of AHEF’s widely-distributed teacher resources, America’s Heritage: An Adventure in LibertyAmerica’s Heritage: An Experiment in Self-Government, and The Miracle of America High School Teacher Course Guide. In addition, she is editor and contributor for The Founding Blog and AHEF websites. Kamrath has taught, tutored, and consulted in writing and research at the University of Houston, Belhaven College, and Houston Christian University.  She also served as a Secondary English Teacher in Texas and as a Communications Assistant for St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Houston.  She served as a Research Assistant intern in the Office of National Service during the George H. W. Bush administration.  She holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.A. in Journalism from Regent University, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Texas Teacher Certification from the University of Houston.  She has served in various children’s and student ministries.

Dr. Steve Balch is an Advising Scholar for AHEF.  Dr. Balch is the Principal Founder and former President of the National Association of Scholars (NAS). He served as a Professor of Government at City University of New York from 1974-1987.  Dr. Balch has co-authored several NAS studies on education curriculum evolution and problems including The Dissolution of General Education:  1914-1993The Dissolution of the Curriculum 1914-1996, and The Vanishing West.  He is the author of Economic and Political Change After Crisis:  Prospects for Government, Liberty and Rule of Law and numerous articles relating to issues in academia.  Dr. Balch has also founded and/or led many education organizations including the Institute for the Study of Western Civilization at Texas Tech University, Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, Association for the Study of Free Institutions, American Academy for Liberal Education, Philadelphia Society, Historical Society, and Association of Literary Scholars.  He has also served on the National Advisory Board of the U. S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), Educational Excellence Network, and New Jersey State Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights.  Dr. Balch was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President George W. Bush in 2007, and the Jeanne Jordan Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award by the Bradley Foundation and American Conservative Union Foundation in 2009.  He holds a B. A. in Political Science from City University of New York and a M. A. and Ph. D. in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley.

Dr. Rob Koons is an Advising Scholar for AHEF.  Dr. Koons is a Professor of Philosophy and Co-Founder of The Western Civilization and American Institutions Program at The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches ancient, medieval, contemporary Christian, and political philosophy as well as philosophy of religion.  He has authored/co-authored countless articles and several books including Realism RegainedThe Atlas of Reality, Fundamentals of Metaphysics, and Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science.  He has been awarded numerous fellowships and is a member of the American Philosophical Association, Society of Christian Philosophers, and American Catholic Philosophical Association.  He holds a B. A. in Philosophy from Michigan State University, an M. A. in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford University, and a Ph. D. in Philosophy from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Dr. Mark David Hall is an Advising Scholar for AHEF.  Dr. Hall is a Professor of Political Science in the Robertson School of Government at Regent University and a Senior Research Fellow in the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy at First Liberty Institute.  He is also a Distinguished Scholar of Christianity & Public Life at George Fox University, Associate Faculty in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, and Senior Fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. His teaching interests include American Political Theory, Religion and Politics, Constitutional Law, and Great Books.  Dr. Hall is a nationally recognized expert on religious freedom and has written or edited a dozen books on religion and politics in America including Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land:  How Christianity Has Advanced Freedom and Equality for All AmericansDid America Have a Christian Founding? Separating Modern Myth from Historical TruthGreat Christian Jurists in American HistoryAmerica’s Wars: A Just War PerspectiveFaith and the Founders of the American RepublicThe Sacred Rights of ConscienceThe Founders on God and Government, and The Political and Legal Philosophy of James Wilson.  He writes for the online publications Law & Liberty and Intercollegiate Studies Review and has appeared regularly on a number of radio shows, including Jerry Newcomb’s Truth in Action, Tim Wildman’s Today’s Issues, the Janet Mefferd Show, and the Michael Medved Show.  He has been awarded numerous fellowships and the Freedom Project Award by the John Templeton Foundation in 1999 and 2000.  He holds a B. A. in Political Science from Wheaton College and a Ph. D. in Government from the University of Virginia.