An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States
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|A CONTROVERSIAL INTERPRETATION OF THE FOUNDERS' INTENTIONS
Beard's interpretation proposes that the Framers of the Federal
Constitution were motivated primarily by economic concerns.
This argument was widely held until the late 1950s, when it was
gradually undermined by later research, much of it stimulated by
Beard's work. Although most scholars today see the origins of the
revolution in terms of the history of ideas, especially republicanism,
Beard's work remains fundamental and has insured a continued
focus on the economic aspect of the nation's establishment, as well
as a wider awareness of the role of economic interests in history.
". . . one of 'the basic works' on the Federal Convention of 1787." --JAMES WILLARD HURST, The Growth of American Law 458
CHARLES A. BEARD [1874-1948] was one of the most
influential American historians of the first half of the 20th
century. A founder of The New School for Social Research, he
was the author of several works including T he Supreme Court and the
Constitution (1912), Economic Origins of Jeffersonian Democracy (1915) and
T he Rise of American Civilization (1927), co-written with his wife, the
historian Mary Beard.