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Framing the Constitution. Charles A Beard 1913. Introduction . Suggests a cohesive, conspiratorial economic elite . Founding Fathers were not philosopher kings Reason for the convention was to l imit majority rule Safeguard private property against the masses

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Framing the constitution

Framing the Constitution

Charles A Beard



  • Suggests a cohesive, conspiratorial economic elite.

    • Founding Fathers were not philosopher kings

    • Reason for the convention wasto limit majority rule

    • Safeguard private property against the masses

      • Originally, the idea was not widely accepted

      • Key leaders at convention were not substantial property owners


  • We must study the Constitution’s formation.

  • Independence was a radical response to tyranny.

  • Use of conventions were the groundwork for the new government.

  • Early proposed alterations existed.

  • Delegates were limited in what they could change.


  • It was an incredible group that was assembled.

  • Many examples of their experience.

  • Accomplished men showed up for this convention. The earlier radical were not there.

  • The idea of the masses had never worked. They only wanted to make them feel like they were involved.


  • The assembly was not idealistic about democracy and equality, but practical about how to preserve wealth.

  • Privileged aristocracy guards against volatile democracy.

  • They feared popular revolt of those without property.

  • Definitions for property and qualifications for voting were troublesome.


  • Checks and balances preserves property against the attacks and oppression of the majority.

  • Many devises to keep parliamentary majorities out of popular hands.

  • Veto is essential to stop bad popular law.

  • Ratifying conventions were a way to keep the new government near the people.


  • Delegate conventions were merely suggested, not required.

  • Early campaigning to ratify and begin.

  • The Federalist Papers

  • Us government is not a Democracy

    • Fragmented authority

  • Roche or Beard

  • Both and

  • Neither