Economic Constitution

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The US Constitution is one of the most influential documents in the history of modern government. The system established by our four fathers not only provided hope and safety for the dreams of the citizens of the new American nation but, perhaps more importantly, this system has served as a symbol for those people who have struggled with their own form of oppressive government. This document has also served as a model for the creation of new governments over the past two hundred years. However many scholars and writers, including Howard Zinn and Charles Beard, who wrote An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution, argue that this document is not the democratically pure statement it was once thought to be. These critics argue that the Constitution was designed primarily to protect the economic interests of the upper class, not only from imposing foreign governments but from the domestic lower class as well. They point to the ideas of the separation of powers, federalism, and checks and balances as being the primary ways the elite insulate themselves from the will of the common people.

In several occasions throughout the Constitution references are made to certain groups which hold a certain economic interest to the very men who wrote the Constitution. Of the 55 men at that convention most were men of wealthy stature, 19 were slaveholders (a symbol of higher class), and half had money loaned out at interest to various subjects. It is unreasonable to suggest that the Constitution was a purely democratic document. As evidence I will list 3 occasions in the document where an economic interest of the founding fathers is addressed in the Constitutions articles. Manufacturers of goods and services in America desired protection from foreign taxes on their good, in response the drafters wrote Article 1, Section 8: “The Congress shall have the power to …regulate commerce with foreign nations…”, thus providing a protective tariff for the manufacturers that the...
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