Charles Austin Beard

Charles Austin Beard

Knightstown, Henry County, Indiana, USA
Death 1 Sep 1948 (aged 73)
North Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA
Plot St Paul section, Plot 309
Memorial ID 69 · View Source
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Historian. He attended DePauw University, graduating in 1898, then went to England in 1899 for graduate studies at Oxford University. He helped in founding Ruskin Hall, where in exchange for reduced tuition, students worked in the school's various businesses. He returned to the United States in 1902, where he received his doctorate in at Columbia University in 1904 and joined the faculty as a lecturer. He compiled a large collection of essays and excerpts in a single volume for his students, “An Introduction to the English Historians.” Beard became an author of scholarly books, textbooks, and articles for the political magazines. He published “An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States” in 1913, an interpretation of how the economic interests of the members of the Constitutional Convention affected their votes. This book seemed radical in 1913, since he proposed that the U.S. Constitution was a product of economically determinist, land-holding founding fathers. Beard wrote “An Economic Interpretation of Jeffersonian Democracy” in 1915. To Beard, the Constitution was a counter-revolution, set up by rich bondholders, in opposition to the farmers and planters. Beard argued the Constitution was designed to reverse the radical democratic tendencies unleashed by the Revolution among the common people. He resigned from Columbia University on October 8, 1917. Following his departure from Columbia, Beard never again sought a permanent academic appointment, and lived on an income of royalties from textbooks and other bestsellers. He was active in helping to found the New School for Social Research (a.k.a. The New School) in Greenwich Village, New York City. He was active in the American Political Science Association and was elected its President in 1926. His financial independence was secured by “The Rise of American Civilization” (1927), and its two sequels, “America in Midpassage” (1939), and “The American Spirit” (1943). He was also a member of the American Historical Association and served as its president in 1933. Beard's last books were “American Foreign Policy in the Making: 1932–1940” (1946) and “President Roosevelt and the Coming of War” (1948); in the latter, Beard blamed Franklin Delano Roosevelt for lying to the American people and tricking them into war.

Bio by: Pete Mohney

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 69
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Austin Beard (27 Nov 1874–1 Sep 1948), Find a Grave Memorial no. 69, citing Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .