As America's Constitution marks the 200th anniversary of its ratification, it remains as viable and important today as when it was framed in 1787- and so is Charles A. Beard's iconoclastic masterwork. First published in 1913, Beard's radical volume sparked a deep historical debate that has not abated. Scrutinizing the Constitution in light of economic forces, he proposed for the first time that this politico-legal document was shaped by a group of men whose commercial interests were best served by its provisions. In honor of the Constitutional Bicentennial, Beard's classic study has been updated to include a new introduction by Forrest McDonald, one of America's foremost Constitutional historians. McDonald explores the intellectual traditions which influenced Beard, suggests why he wrote about the business and property interests of the Founding Fathers (and what he hoped to to accomplish by revealing them), and analyzes how contemporary scholars have changed Beard's pragmatic vision. He also pays tribute to a groundbreaking thesis that ended America's uncritical reverence for its revolutionary past.