Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution
An examination of Beard’s thesis that the authors of the constitution were an elite who rejected democracy and desired a federal government that would protect and promote its own economic interests.
“There was widespread unrest and dissatisfaction with government under the Articles of Confederation. With thirteen states often going thirteen different ways, many feared for the future of the union. Men of property lamented the inability of Congress to collect taxes, to regulate interstate commerce, and to negotiate a favorable trade treaty with England. Widespread depression following the end of the war compounded the difficulties. Farmers in Western Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shays, rebelled. In the midst of Shays? Rebellion, a small group of delegates met at Annapolis, Maryland to discuss interstate commerce matters. However, the result was the calling of the Philadelphia Convention, otherwise known as the Constitutional Convention. The Articles of Confederation were discarded, but not necessarily for the good of the American people. Charles Beard argues that the Founding Fathers intended to provide for their own personal well-being in writing the Constitution. The authors of the constitution were an elite who rejected democracy and desired a federal government that would protect and promote its own economic interests.