Controversy reflects action, not passive opinions.
∙ Scene at the Signing of the Constitution
o Washington illuminated to show his importance.
o James Madison with crumpled notes to symbolize notetaking. o Franklin with books to represent the learnedness of the Founding
o Hamilton whispering in Franklin’s ear.
o Curtains drawn back to show that they no longer had anything to hide.
∙ 1776: The Continental Congress adopts the Declaration of If you want to learn more check out It is a type of cerebral palsy that difficult to speak if that part of the body is affected. what is it?
∙ 1778: The Articles of Confederation is established.
o No ability to raise taxes = BIG PROBLEM!
o No executive or judiciary power = BIG PROBLEM!
∙ 1787: 55 delegates (including the Founding Fathers) set out to fix the
Articles of Confederation.
o Secret meeting extra freedom to debate
o 39 of 55 delegates signed the final draft of the Constitution.
∙ Charles Beard was a historian who graduated from DePaw University
right here in Indiana.
∙ Beard was incredibly politically minded, engaging in many controversial topics such as women’s suffrage and child labor. His
views on these topics shoved him into the political left.
∙ Because of his Quaker views, Beard was incredibly opposed to US involvement in WWI.
∙ Bear was viewed as unpatriotic for these views and was fired from
Columbia University, and from then on struggled to find work. ∙ Beard found that the founding fathers created the Constitution as a If you want to learn more check out What is a descriptive theory that explains?
means merely to preserve their own economic self-interest. ∙ James Madison distinguishes the people of the United States into the
“haves” and the “have nots,” those who hold land and those who do
∙ The Founding Fathers were concerned by turmoil caused by the “have
nots” in acts such as the Shay Rebellion and the Kentucky Covention. ∙ Beard points out the investment portfolios of the Founding Fathers as Don't forget about the age old question of Does individual rbc circulate in the blood for only?
their key connection.
o At least 40 of 55 had public interest investments.
o 14 of 55 had land speculation investments.
o 24 of 55 loaned money,
o 11 of 55 had manufacture and commerce investments. o 15 of 55 had slave trade investments.
∙ The Articles of Confederation didn’t have any sort of security for investments such as money lending; no legal power to guarantee a
return on investment.
∙ Article VI of the Constitution states that all debts/engagements entered into under the Confederation will be equally as valid under the Constitution so as to not interfere with the investments of the Founding Fathers.
∙ Robert Brown contested Beard’s analysis of the Founding Fathers’
∙ One of Browns’ most important realizations was that the Founding Fathers owned real estate, which Beard failed to mention.
∙ Because realty was fairly readily available, Brown argues that the Founding Fathers’ decision to protect their assets was really a decision
to protect everyone’s best interests.
∙ This argument closely mirrors the current concept of the 1% vs. the
∙ Brown’s argument mirrors the theory of trickle-down economics. ∙ Brown also criticizes Beard’s use of secondary sources for his research. ∙ Brown’s tactical ‘I’m just saying’ argument is incredibly politically We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of adrenal glands?
charged, used to cast doubt in the minds of readers.
∙ Because Brown couldn’t really challenge Beard’s message, he needed
to challenge Beard himself.
∙ Why are we taught along the lines of Brown’s theory rather than
Beard’s, even though Beard is correct?
o Brown’s argument is more aspirational, seems achievable to the
o Beard’s argument incites a revolution.
∙ ¾ of eligible voters abstained from voting on the Constitution. ∙ Only 16.5% voted in favor of the Constitution.
∙ Eligible voters were all white men with property, who were the group of people who would have benefitted from the Constitution – and they still
∙ Brown argued that the 75% of people who didn’t vote only abstained because they knew the Constitution would pass no matter what. He
called their abstinence tacit support.
∙ Brown argues that ONLY the 8.5% of voters who actively went against
the Constitution didn’t support it.
∙ Both Beard and Brown used statistical manipulation in order to prove
completely opposite points. We also discuss several other topics like What refers to the process of communication is ethically neutral?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is the encoding/decoding process?
∙ Charles Beard assumes an economic interpretation – people are motivated by what they have.
∙ Robert Brown assumes a psychological interpretation – people are motivated by what they believe.