Economic Interpretation


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Slope as marginal rate of change

I've read several reviews of this books and it looks as if either people haven't actually read it or they've decided beforehand that its wrong. The book is very thorough and doesn't make too many assumptions. Its definitely worth reading if you are a history buff. Recommended to James by: Mr. Jeffrey Matson. History Department Chair, Christian Brothers.

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While I only give this book 3 stars, this book set me on a journey that has since changed my life. Economics moves people to act and change the course of history. Once you understand that, the world just makes a lot more sense and the people who fail to realize it make even less sense. May 05, Joshua rated it really liked it. Not even sure what "dated" would mean in relation to this book. But if people are still reading anything I write 97 years later, I'll be a happy ghost.

View 1 comment. Jan 26, Shane Avery rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction. With this orientation Beard produced his influential work "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States i in With this intellectual framework Beard challenges traditional mytho-historical notions concerning origins of the Constitution of the United States.


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The Constitution was not created by a group of demigods who were committed to abstract notions of justice and liberty. On the contrary, the call for a national Constitutional Convention, the debates within that convention, the election of delegates to that Convention and to the state conventions which followed, can all be understood in terms of class and group divisions and contending interests. Members of the constitutional and state conventions who influenced the framing of the document and who supported its ratification understood the impact it would have on their personal fortunes.

Beard roughly divides property holders into two categories: the interests of real and personal property. He classifies the real property holders into three general groups: small farmers, manorial lords, and the slaveholding plantations holders of the South. Beard argues that the manorial lords and the small farmers, primarily a debtor class, generally opposed the ratification of the Constitution, while the slaveholding planters generally supported its adoption. The other type of property holders, denominated as personal property holders, strongly supported and pushed for a new constitution.

Read: it was a coup! These property holders held personalty in public securities, shipping and manufacturing, and money at interest. The representatives of these interests tried to secure amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would safeguard the value of these sorts of capital. Failing in this effort, this group attempted to secure the necessary changes to safeguard their property through a convention by creating and lobbying for the adoption of a new constitution. In the second half of his book, Beard looks at the economic interests of each member of the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.

So it's all a sham, ya dig? May 31, thethousanderclub rated it it was ok. Adam C.

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Zern shares his thoughts. Every area of study becomes so constricted from every other subject of study it's almost as if other considerations don't exist. Charles A. Beard's An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States could not be any more perfect of an example of that pedagogical approach. As the name of the book implies, An Economic Interpretation attempts to explain the motivations of the framers of the Adam C. As the name of the book implies, An Economic Interpretation attempts to explain the motivations of the framers of the Constitution and those who ratified it solely through their economic concerns and leaves mountains of historical information and context abandoned conspicuously on the floor.

To begin with, Charles A. Beard repeatedly commits an intellectual sin, which is one my greatest grumbles against academia; to wit, he announces he doesn't have all of the data necessary to make a confident judgment and then proceeds to make judgments, conjectures, and theories, not to mention write an entire book based on his admittedly lacking foundation. He presents some interesting facts, but it does little to provide a perspective that is anywhere near comprehensive. Granted, that's hard to do regardless of the historical approach one takes, but An Economic Interpretation is so skewed and limited in its approach it's an absolute necessity that readers balance their reading of it with other historical works of the same time period and personalities.

One valuable thing the book does do, however, is present how important private property was to the framers. Private property as a human right in America has undergone a brutal erosion over the past years, and An Economic Interpretation does a fine job showing it was a huge consideration during the convention and during the ratification debates.

What An Economic Interpretation does not correctly illustrate is that for most of those involved the concern over private property was one based more on ideology rather than personal gain. I would only read An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States if one has a strong background in constitutional history or is willing to get one. An Economic Interpretation presents a very, very warped and scanty view of the Constitution and those involved in its creation and eventual ratification.


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  • Jan 05, Shibi Sanjeev rated it really liked it. Throughout American history we have seen various interpretations of one of the most influential documents of our government: The Constitution.

    An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of The United States

    In his own interpretation, Charles A. Beard developed the theory that the Constitution was not made a group of abstract political thinkers. Instead he argues that it was created by a group of men who intended to develop a government that would further their own economic interests. He Throughout American history we have seen various interpretations of one of the most influential documents of our government: The Constitution. He examines many different sources of his time.

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    He begins by looking at the various groups of people that did and did not support the Articles of Confederation and analyzes the economic similarities and differences between them. This provides a solid platform for the intense analysis of every member of the Constitutional Convention and their private holdings. This helps him show the Constitution as something that was created for the sole purpose of saving the framers from losing money.

    Beard does a good job of keeping the reader interested through his strong, and sometimes extreme, opinion of the Founding Fathers. He is continuously citing facts, statistics, and quotes from the time period that are often centered around many of the famous creators of our government: George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin to name a few.

    In the first few chapters, Beard makes points that seem almost unrelated, but then he brings them all together to create the groundwork for a powerful argument that looks at crucial events of the construction and ratification of the Constitution in a new light. One of the most consistent examples of this was the requirement that for anyone to take part in any of the defining events of the creation of the Constitution, they must own some form of property. The individuals who decided that a Constitutional Convention was necessary had to own land, the delegates in the convention itself had to own land, the state representatives during the ratification process also had to own land.

    We had always been taught that this was just a form of discrimination. Beard states that this requirement was used to force people who stood to lose large sums of money with the Articles of Confederation were the only ones taking part in the creation of the new government.

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    Jan 27, Brandon rated it liked it. Charles Beard's analysis of the process of the framing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States influenced the way historians examined not only the Constitution but also other facets of American history. Beard argued that the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were not disinterested participants in the process.

    They had immediate economic interest in seeing its adoption. Originally published in during the tumultuous years of the Progressive Party, Beard's book is Charles Beard's analysis of the process of the framing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States influenced the way historians examined not only the Constitution but also other facets of American history. Originally published in during the tumultuous years of the Progressive Party, Beard's book is a revision of the earlier "jurist" period in which historians argued that the Constitution emerged from "the whole people.

    He argued that economic interests largely determined who supported and who opposed the Constitution. Beard further argued that this study was not a definitive study. He acknowledged that it would generate more questions than it answered. His purpose was, in large part, to suggest future avenues of inquiry. While Beard's book does introduce an important facet in the framing of the Constitution, I think it does have limitations. Economics clearly influences the course of history, but Beard's dualistic approach is problematic.

    An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States - Wikipedia

    In keeping with Progressive historiography, he portrays history as an on-going battle between a narrow wealthy class and everybody else. While there is clearly some truth to this model, it is extremely simplistic. The book was lacking in research as well, a limitation Beard acknowledged. It served its purpose, however, in highlighting an economic facet of the process of the framing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States.

    co.organiccrap.com/149753.php Mar 15, Masrur rated it really liked it. This approach, that of economics, is one that has been wrongfully neglected without being given the rightful study that it is due. Beard claims that there has been very little written in way of an Economic interpretation of the constitution, not even the elementary level of collating information. This perhaps gives reason as to Charles A. Overall, the argument put forth by Beard is a logical, well evidenced one. It is important to realise that this area of history was not much ventured into in , nor were records as available as they are today.

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