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'Though not a Marxist, Charles Beard’s history of the US Constitution was certainly based on economic aspects of American society at the time. He believed that the Founding Fathers – the men who met in Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the constitutional arrangements of the nation – were men of a distinct elite class, therefore their actions and ideas reflected their economics interests. This was not to suggest that the Constitution was a deliberate, capitalist conspiracy or an elitist counter-revolution (as has been proposed by some subsequent left-wing institutions); however the political motives and ideals of the Constitutional Convention were informed, in part at least, by the economic situation of its individual members. This radical new interpretation was contrary to the prevailing notion of the time: that the Founding Fathers were brilliant political philanthropists, giving their time and talents to create an innovative new system for the public good. Unsurprisingly, Beard was publicly and privately shunned for his revisionism that implied some of America’s greatest historical demi-gods were greedy and self-interested; one writer called Beard “the mightiest muckraker of them all. Beard defended his interpretation by reminding his critics that economics was not the only factor in the creation of the Constitution, and that he was not necessarily criticising the document or the capitalist system, suggesting that “the bee fertilises the flower it robs”.'