Titel: To Form a More Perfect Union: A New Economic Interpretation of the United States Constitution
Autor/en: Robert a. McGuire
OXFORD UNIV PR
Januar 2003 - gebunden - 416 Seiten
Many important questions regarding the creation and adoption of the United States Constitution remain unresolved. Did slaveholdings or financial holdings significantly influence our Founding Fathers' stance on particular clauses or rules contained in the Constitution? Was there a division of
support for the Constitution related to religious beliefs or ethnicity? Were founders from less commercial areas more likely to oppose the Constitution? To Form a More Perfect Union successfully answers these questions and offers an economic explanation for the behavior of our Founding Fathers
during the nation's constitutional founding.
In 1913, American historian Charles A. Beard controversially argued in his book An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States that the framers and ratifiers of the Constitution were less interested in furthering democratic principles than in advancing specific economic and
financial interests. Beard's thesis eventually emerged as the standard historical interpretation and remained so until the 1950s. Since then, many constitutional and historical scholars have questioned an economic interpretation of the Constitution as being too narrow or too calculating, believing
the great principles and political philosophies that motivated the Founding Fathers to be worthier subjects of study.
In this meticulously researched reexamination of the drafting and ratification of our nation's Constitution, Robert McGuire argues that Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, George Mason and the other Founding Fathers did act as much for economic motives as for abstract ideals. To Form a More Perfect
Union offers compelling evidence showing that theeconomic, financial, and other interests of the founders can account for the specific design and adoption of our Constitution. This is the first book to provide modern evidence that substantiates many of the overall conclusions found in Charles
Beard's An Economic Inter
Robert A. McGuire was born in Long Beach, California, and educated at Long Beach State and the University of Washington. A professor of economics at the University of Akron, he is the author of many studies that have appeared in academic journals, including the American Economic Review, AmericanJournal of Political Science, Economic History Review, Journal of Economic History, and Public Choice. Among his most recent research is a study of the Confederate constitution appearing in Economic Inquiry and an ongoing study of the role of diseases in American economic history funded with a National Science Foundation grant in 2000.
"Robert McGuire's To Form a More Perfect Union is and will long remain the definitive study of the effect of economic influences on the drafting and ratification of the American Constitution." - Cal Jillson, Chair, Department of Political Science, Southern Methodist University
"No longer can economic interpretations of the Founding Fathers' votes on the Constitution be dismissed as 'simplistic.' Robert McGuire's careful reasoning and thorough testing of alternative viewpoints yields a rich harvest of persuasive conclusions. The mix of economic interests definitely shaped the Constitution. A different mix could easily have defeated ratification and produced a very different America. In fact, had the delegates just had the same amounts of slave-owning of their average constituents, there would have been stronger opposition to the Constitution we have lived under ever since."--Peter H. Lindert, President, Economic History Association and Professor of Economics and Director of the A