Aggressive NationalismMcCulloch v. Maryland and the Foundation of Federal Authority in the Young Republic

Aggressive NationalismMcCulloch v. Maryland and the Foundation of Federal Authority in the Young Republic

Richard E. Ellis

Print publication date: 2007

ISBN: 9780195323566

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Abstract

This book examines the public debate that took place over Chief Justice John Marshall's famous decision in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). It sheds new light on how the case came before the US Supreme Court. It also examines many of the key issues involved in the case that John Marshall either slighted or totally ignored: the private profit-making nature of the Second Bank of the United States (2 BUS); the power of the 2 BUS to create branches in the states without their consent, which many people viewed as a direct assault upon the sovereignty of the states and which they feared would lead to the creation of other privately controlled profit-making national corporations that could operate within a state and yet be beyond its control; and the differences between a tax levied by a state for the purposes of raising revenue and one which was meant to destroy the operations of the branches of the 2 BUS. These issues are particularly important to understand because they were at the heart of Ohio's unwillingness to abide by the Supreme Court's decision and which eventually led to Osborn et. al. v. Bank of the United States (1824) and formed the basis for Andrew Jackson's famous veto for the rechartering of the 2 BUS in 1832. The book also examines the relationship between McCulloch v. Maryland and the creation of a federal program of internal improvements.