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An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States - Charles Beard

An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States

Paperback Published: 30th April 1998
ISBN: 9780765804570
Number Of Pages: 364

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In his piercing introduction to An Economic Interpretation the author wrote that "whoever leaves economic pressures out of history or out of discussion of public questions is in mortal peril of substituting mythology for reality." It was Beard's view that the founding fathers, especially Madison, Jay, and Hamilton, never made such a miscalculation. Indeed, these statesmen placed themselves among the great practitioners of all ages and gave instructions to succeeding generations in the art of government by their vigorous deployment of classical political economy.

In this new printing of a major classic in American historiography, Louis Filler provides a sense of the person behind the book, the background that enabled Beard to move well beyond the shibboleths of the second decade of the twentieth century. While the controversies over Beard's book have quieted, the issues which it raised have hardly abated. Indeed, one can say that just about every major work in the politics and economics of the American nation must contend with Beard's classic work. Beard's work rests on an examination of primary documents: land and slave owners, geographic distribution of money, ownership of public securities, the specific condition of those who were disenfranchised as well as those who were in charge of the nascent American economy.

The great merit of Beard's work is that despite its incendiary potential, he himself viewed An Economic Interpretation in coldly analytical terms, seeing such a position as giving comfort to neither revolutionaries nor reactionaries. Attacked by Marxists for being too mechanical, and by conservatives as being blind to the moral purposes of the framers of the constitution, the work continues to exercise a tremendous influence on all concerned. The fact that Beard wrote with a scalpel-like precision that gripped the attention of those in power no less than the common man is, it should be added, no small element in the enduring forces of this work.

Historical Interpretation in the United Statesp. 1
A Survey of Economic Interests in 1787p. 19
The Movement for the Constitutionp. 52
Property Safeguards in the Election of Delegatesp. 64
The Economic Interests of the Members of the Conventionp. 73
The Constitution as an Economic Documentp. 152
The Political Doctrines of the Members of the Conventionp. 189
The Process of Ratificationp. 217
The Popular Vote on the Constitutionp. 239
The Economics of the Vote on the Constitutionp. 253
The Economic Conflict over Ratification as viewed by Contemporariesp. 292
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780765804570
ISBN-10: 0765804573
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 30th April 1998
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Type: New edition

Earn 234 Qantas Points
on this Book