Ideas that Matter: Parting Thoughts on Charles Beard on the 100th Anniversary of an Economic Interpretation

October 2013 Miller Center/University of Virginia Law School Symposium on Beard

Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-54

10 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2014 Last revised: 11 Sep 2014

See all articles by Jessica Lowe

Jessica Lowe

University of Virginia - School of Law

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

Charles Beard's work is best known for advocating that material interests, not ideas, played the pivotal role in shaping the founding of the United States. But Beard was, in his own way, an idealist who saw history as a moral force. This brief essay, the conclusion to the publication of the October 2013 Miller Center/University of Virginia Law School symposium on the 100th Anniversary of Beard's An Economic Interpretation, sums up the conference and argues that Beard's real legacy is as a historian who believed in the power of ideas to create social change -- and in history as the pursuit of truth.

Keywords: Charles Beard, American founding, American history, legal history, intellectual history

Suggested Citation

Lowe, Jessica, Ideas that Matter: Parting Thoughts on Charles Beard on the 100th Anniversary of an Economic Interpretation (October 1, 2013). October 2013 Miller Center/University of Virginia Law School Symposium on Beard; Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-54. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2493368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2493368

Jessica Lowe (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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