Ideas and positions of the founders

  Thomas Jefferson Charles Beards' interpretation of the constitution       
 Concentration of wealth
 Jumping to the end of Charles Beard's book, his conclusions state the following:

i) The US constitution was enacted to protect the interests of: a) the moneyed classes (the rich), b) the bond and stock holding classes (the rich speculators), c) the manufacturing interests (rich capitalists), and trade and shipping interests (the rich capitalist speculators).

ii) The constitution was the result of an elite group of men representing the aforementioned interests.

iii) The constitutional convention held in Philadelphia was organized undemocratically by the aforementioned elite group of men to secure the aforementioned interests.

iv) Those not holding the aforementioned interests (the poor) were excluded from participation in the constitutional process.

v) Those participating in the Philadelphia convention personally benefited from the outcome of that convention (the constitution).

vi) The US constitution is a document protecting private property rights over that of a democratic people and/or its government.

vii) These assertions are on record as evidenced by the property and monetary interests of those who proposed and passed the US constitution.

viii) In the ratification of the US constitution, 3/4 of the qualified voters were excluded by some means or another, aiding the 1/4 who benefited from the passage of the constitution.

ix) The ratification of the US constitution was further narrowed down to where only 1/6 of the qualified voters participated in its passing.

x) Therefore, the majority of qualified voters did not participate in the ratification of the US constitution.

xi) This 1/6 who ratified the constitution were the same minority who held large holdings in money, bonds and stocks, manufacturing, and trade and shipping.

xii) The main societal divisions in the ratification of the US constitution were among classes cited in i) and the farming and debtor classes at that time.

xiii) The constitution was therefore not created by "the people," but by the those motivated by the monetary interests cited in i).

To see why Beard thought this you must read this book, which is a laundry list of those participating in the Philadelphia convention and the ratification process, and a catalogue of their documented monetary interests.

After reading Beard, then you can read the introduction by Forrest McDonald holding Beard's thesis up to the crucible of historical criticism.

After reading Beard and McDonald you can begin to reflect on the implications of Beard's materialist hypothesis and the host of corroborating and refuting philosophical considerations, then form your own conclusions, then repeat the cycle over and over.

This is probably a good departure point to begin examining your personal beliefs and expectations of what it means to be an American.