Book Report: Government and Politics

Pages: 8 (2406 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Topic: American History  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] The thesis was penned to contradict the capitalistic intentions of the founders and their elitist views (Dalleva, Education, 2010). The American constitution has been debated intensely since the day it was formed in 1787. Charles Beard wanted to expose the founding fathers as moneymakers, bent on saving their properties and investments.

John Roche in his essay A Reform Caucus in Action says that, constitution united the states together while the conspiracy theory about moneymaking isn't true at all. The founding fathers penned the constitution to establish for which they had fought for in 1776 revolution. The nation would be united on the whole (Dalleva, Education, 2010).

Roche dismisses the argument that founding fathers were just moneymakers by introducing the word reform. Roche begins his argument saying that they wanted to reform the government, not use it for their personal gains. Article of Confederation was feeble and not exactly operable for the government as it didn't have the capability of legislative power to work as a thriving democracy. Founding fathers knew that national government was instrumental in uniting the country, it would limit democracy to some level, but in its absence the country would be divided and states would be broken with their own armies protecting their freedom (Dalleva, 2010).

This explanation is in direct contradiction to Charles Beard's description of Founding fathers as he states that constitution wasn't penned solely to secure the people's interests and democracy. Roche debates on the other hand that aimed at establishing a democracy in a humane manner as long as it functioned the American government ably. United States needed to protect the governing body for which they fought in Revolution of 1776. Roche ably provides a counter argument to cap up the entire argument surrounding founding fathers (Dalleva, Education, 2010). They aimed at protecting the nation and democracy, and strengthened the Articles which would operate competently. John Roche deemed Charles Beard's argument as pessimistic that founding fathers were rich white men who had huge lands in their names and altered the constitution to keep their status quo. They handled the investments and land themselves. Roche paints a picture of patriotic white rich men bent on establishing a democratic government. He realizes that they weren't entirely patriotic, with some hidden agenda at the back of their mind, but that certainly didn't stop them from making a fully functional government (Dalleva, Education, 2010).

Reading II: "Framing the Constitution"

Examine the central argument Beard gives regarding Founding Fathers, constitution and give two examples for supporting his theory.

The initial plan of getting the Americans is to distrust the founding fathers who penned the constitution; hence they will look at the constitution with suspicion. The silent attack began slowly at least a century ago. Charles Beard was the first historian to question the motives of Founders in his thesis An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States penned in (1913).

Charles Beard was a history professor in Columbia University who debated that constitution was a monetary document written in accordance by men who had immense property to safeguard. The Founders were wise policymakers, not patriots, rather considerate students who were in the business of writing constitution in order to shelter their properties and interests (Folsom, 2009).

Founders had economic motives only in Beard's opinion who wanted reimbursement for supporting Revolution and public securities weren't being paid as the Confederation Articles were feeble at the time. A governing document of immense power was needed to enable an easy transmission of tax from citizens direct to the wealthy Founders. Hence in Beard's opinion, a small group of men spearheaded the constitutional convention of 1787 in Philadelphia who had interests in protecting their personal possessions (Folsom, 2009). The general population with no property had no role in the constitutional development process. Beard was a trained historian of his generation; he compiled sufficient evidence on the Founders. According to him, most ratification movement leaders had security holdings. People who opposed the constitution had less public securities. All the states had to vote on approving the constitution and Beard shows plausible evidence that leaders were those same people belonging to the Philadelphia convention. Beard agrees that Founders didn't pen the constitution to pool money, but constitution was still a financial document (Folsom, 2009).

Beard's thesis was well written and researched, but was timidly presented, yet it became a driving force in historical profession and by the 1920's was a household name in colleges. It was an object of self-interest represented loosely, could be altered if the Progressives wanted it to. According to Woodrow Wilson, a PhD in history and a friend of Beard states that segregation of constitutional powers was a drastic error on behalf of the Founders (Folsom, 2009).

Bibliography

Berg, S. (2012). The Founding Fathers and the Constitutional Struggle over Centralized Power. Baltimore County: University of Maryland. Retrieved from: http://www.umbc.edu/che/tahlessons/pdf/The_Founding_Fathers_and_the_Constitutional_Struggle_PF.pdf

Dalleva, N. (2010, August 30). An Analysis Of John Roche's Essay "A Reform Caucus in Action." Retrieved from Essencearticles.com: http://www.essencearticles.com/book-reviews-politics/an-analysis-of-john-roches-essay-a-reform-caucus-in-action

Dalleva, N. (2010, September 15). Education. Retrieved from articlesfactory.com: http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/education/an-analysis-of-john-roches-essay.html

Folsom, B. (2009, June 11). The Freeman. Retrieved from Fee.com: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-founders-the-constitution-and-the-historians

Paletz, D., Owen, D., & Cook, T. (2013). Bookhub. Retrieved from Flatworldknowledge.com: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/10795?e=paletz_1.0-ch02_s02

Thesis Statement. (2014). Retrieved from Scribendi: http://www.scribendi.com/advice/thesis_statement.en.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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