Leftist view Balanced view Right-wing/Whig interpretation
Varying views on the men who constructed the Constitution and so too the Constitution itself Howard Zinn: ‘The Constitution… serves the interests of the wealthy elite.’Zinn: It seems that the rebellion against British rule allowed a certain group of colonial elite to replace those loyal to England…  and leave poor, white working people in very much their old situation.Zinn: They (the Founding Fathers) certainly did not want an equal balance between slaves and masters, property less and property holders, Indians and white.Francis Jennings: ‘some Americans were clearly omitted from this circle of united interest’ (suggests that individuals such as Native Americans, women and slaves were not given equal rights in the new nation)

Charles Beard ‘Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States’ highlighting that they Founding Fathers grew increasingly wealthy after the Constitution. Suggest they had monetary interest in the formation of the new nation.


Edward Countryman: ‘Came as close as a possible to having its basis in the consent of its people…. even by the standards of the day it was not democratic.’ (Still remained inequalities through a property qualification of $20 000 which was needed to vote or run for parliament) Countryman: ‘The Constitution neither strengthened nor undermined slavery; faced with a fundamental problem, the delegates chose to avert their gaze. Hugh Brogan: ‘It was the crowning act of the American Revolution’Brogan: ‘the problems of trade could never be solved…till Articles re-drafted…national government needed a thorough overhaul’Gordon Wood: ‘In fact, it was one of the greatest revolutions in the world has known.’Wood: ‘In various ways, the Revolution worked to weaken slavery.’

Wood: Saved Congress from the states and the states from themselves. (The Constitution fixed the problems that were prevalent under the Articles of Confederation)

Wood: ‘All sovereignty rested with the people’

Bernard Bailyn: ‘Apotheosis of the revolution… its ideological fulfilment.’

George Bancroft: ‘liberty’s greatest protection’ (through the Bill of Rights which gave all Americans fundamental rights as citizens)


The Right Wing/Whig Interpretation column supports the Founding Fathers and the Constitution they created. The Founding Fathers were perceived as deities in the new nation and their work is portrayed in an almost divine nature. They highlight the democratic nature of the Constitution seen through separation of powers and the Bill of Rights which protected the fundamental rights of all American citizens.

In contrast the leftist viewpoint suggests that the Founding Fathers aim to satisfy their own self interest and maintain themselves as the elite class of American society. They focus on the exclusion of women, Native American and the poor from the new society. They hold negative towards the intentions of the Founding Fathers.