Charles Beard Economic Interpretation Constitution Thesis

In short, he seemed more tolerant of "men of property" (Beard 1944, 120-137).Was it because two world wars had changed his world-view?

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While largely maintaining his reform stance on the domestic front, Beard developed a “continentalist” stance on foreign policy that condemned the modern progressive tradition of not just Woodrow Wilson but also Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt for pushing America out of its isolation into military conflict in Europe and Asia.

Yet while somewhat downplaying Hamilton’s role, Beard still maintained his neo-Federalist view in support of the Constitution.

He further asserted that the Constitution was an economic document designed by those with money and property to protect those with money and property.

This class-struggle view was applied by Beard to all of American history.

Oddly enough, one of the most outspoken writers on this topic was Charles Beard.

He has entered the annals of American historiography as perhaps the quintessential economic-school historian.

Mac Mc Corkle is Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Master’s Program at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

The article is adapted from his longer essay “The Historian as Intellectual: Charles Beard and the Constitution Reconsidered,” American Journal of Legal History (October 1984) 314-63.

Moreover, the breakup of large Tory estates was discussed (Beard 1944, 119).

But it is the chapter on the Constitution that stands out.


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