Beard, Charles Austin

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  • A former college professor and popular writer, Charles Austin Beard (1874–1948) is considered one of the foremost U.S. historians of the first half of the twentieth century. His dissenting political opinions were influenced by the economic depression following the Panic of 1893 and the subsequent industrial and political conflicts of that decade. His interpretation of history took form as an “economic-determinist” analysis of the past and as a “usable” instrument. After his death in 1948, his work fell out of favor as a new school of thought, consensus history, challenged his economic conflict interpretation of America's past.

    Charles Austin Beard, ca. 1923

    Beard was born on November 27, 1874, to a very wealthy family in Knightstown, Indiana. His father, William, had made a fortune as a mill ...

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