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The Constitution - Thesis Example

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He further contends that many were disenfranchised and discriminated by the common law and thus were not represented in the Convention during its drafting which included countless adult males. In addition, most of the states at that time imposed property qualifications on the voters and consequently barred non-taxpayers. As most of the members of the conventions were lawyers and representatives of personalty, these individuals were 1'directly and personally interested in the outcome of their labors' and would economically benefit from the passage of the Constitution (Beard 59). Furthermore, Beard asserts that since these men were mostly merchants, shippers, bankers, speculators, and private and public securities holders, the Constitution was not crafted by 'the whole people.'
Beard's assertions remained undisputed until 1956 when Robert Brown's critique titled Charles Beard and the Constitution: A Critical Analysis of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution dispels and attacks Beard's thesis and conclusions for their lack of merit. Brown, attacking Beard's objectivity, argues that Beard failed to collect compelling data and evidence to support his contentions. In his critique, Brown scrutinizes the support for the Constitution among diverse economic and social divisions, the democratic character of the country, and the franchise within the states in eighteenth-century America. He holds that Beard was misguided and further added that, eighteenth-century America was democratic, the franchise was common, and there was extensive backing for the Constitution, alleging that his evidence contradicts Beard's arguments about the lack of democracy and the insubstantial support for the Constitution. According to Brown, since the Founding Fathers upheld the Federal voting system done by indirect representation, the ratification of the Constitution was a democratic process and everyone's interests were aptly represented. Brown further argues that the constitution was not merely an economic document in which property was protected but it also stressed safeguards to life and liberty. This protection of property, Brown adds, is also essential to the protection of the individual and liberty.
A close scrutiny of the US Constitution is necessary in order to resolve this conflict as the issue has its precedence in the Constitution itself. The textbook, 'We The People,' states that the charter 2'attempts to create a government that would be strong to protect commerce and property rights yet weak enough to threaten individual liberty.' The statement strengthens Brown's contentions that the provisions governing the protection of property are significant parts of the constitution. The Constitution also emphasizes that that the framers, 3'feared the call of equality' which could result to equal allotment of property, and consequently violate the freedom of property owners. Although Beard is right with his assertions that the economic interests of the framers and those who represented the public were given utmost importance, the focus on economic interests and rights to property as well as protection of those rights fortified individual freedom. It is also important to note that these economic interpretations of the ...Show more
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The argument that the creation of the Constitution was a conflict founded on competing economic and financial interests by two groups of individuals - those who expected to gain benefits from its approval and those who oppose its ill-effects - was pioneered by Charles A…
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