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Charles Austin Beard (November 27, 1874 – September 1, 1948) was, with Frederick Jackson Turner, one of the most influential American historians of the first half of the 20th century. For a while he was a history professor at Columbia University but his influence came from hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science. His works included a radical re-evaluation of the founding fathers of the United States, who he believed were motivated more by economics than by philosophical principles. Beard's most influential book, An Economic Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution (1913), has been the subject of great controversy ever since its publication. While frequently criticized for its methodology and conclusions, it was responsible for a wide-ranging reinterpretation of American history of the founding era. He was also the co-author with his wife Mary Beard of The Rise of American Civilization (1927), which had a major influence on American historians.