There are many who contend that one reason for the Cold War was America's desire to increase its international economic sovereignty through a military-industrial complex that would make it the dominant exporter of military goods. Such a complex would increase U.S. economic hegemony in several ways. First, military spending would necessarily increase during the time of war. Even after combat operations were over, however, revenue would flow to the U.S. government through maintenance of military installations around the world. In addition, the U.S. military dominance would make it the seller of choice for military goods to friendly nations and to other nations whose internal or external conflicts the U.S. government supported.
Beard's economic interpretation of history seeks to understand American history by exploring the competing interests that drove the country's evolution. He maintains that one can understand why particular laws were enacted by exploring which constituencies benefitted from the enactment of those laws (Beard, 1941. p. 19). Essentially, the Constitution was enacted by men of property and the more property men possessed the greater protection they received under the Constitution. Slaves, for example, were granted no protection. On the other hand, as Beard details, farmers and other landed men negotiated for varying degrees of protection of their property interests (1941, pp. 28-30).
Beard also details the debate between opponents and supporters of the proposed federal constitution. He notes the division between the "natural aristocracy," who supported the constitution and the "turbulent democracy," who opposed it (Beard, 1941, p. 303). Generally, Beard's examination of the economics of the vote on the constitution support his argument throughout the work that monied and mercantile interests favored the federal constitution while other interests feared its centralized power (Beard, 1941, pp. 253-291).
The significance of Beard's argu