Informative Essay on John Marshalls Role in Federalism

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Between the years 1801 and 1835, John Marshall ruled as the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. John's judicial system opinions laid the background for the formation of the Constitutional law of the United States. He made sure that the United States Supreme Court was also made a separate branch of equal powers with the government, the executive, and the legislative branches. John Marshall was the fourth-longest-serving Justice in Supreme Court history. He exerted an overwhelming guiding influence on the Supreme Court for over thirty years and was a key in the manipulating development of the legal system of America.

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What Was the Impact of John Marshall’s Decisions?

Chief Justice John Marshall's rulings established precedents for federal supremacy over states' rights. He emphasized the principle that courts of the national government were obligated to exercise judicial review, by disobeying purported laws if they disregarded the Constitution. Marshall strengthened the position of the American judiciary as an influential and independent branch of government. His court made significant decisions regarding federalism. Such decisions affected the balance of power between the States and the national government. The commerce of the United States with foreign nations is that of the whole United States. If Congress has the power to regulate it, that power must be exercised whenever the subject exists. If it exists within the States, if a foreign voyage may commence or terminate at a port within a state, then the power of Congress may be exercised within a state. Chief Justice John Marshall delivers his opinion for Gibbons v. Ogden (1824).

John Marshall Role in Federalist Party

He particularly spearheaded the supremacy of national law over state law. Marshall constructed the third branch of the national government, supplemented its power by use of the rule of law and the Constitution. Daniel Webster and Marshall pursued Federalist Party methods in building a stronger national government to overcome Jeffersonian Republicans' opposition. This made the two become the leading Federalists at that period. The charter of 1769 created and established a corporation, to consist of twelve persons, and no more to be called the Trustees of Dartmouth College. The charter, or letters patent, then proceed to create such a corporation to have perpetual existence, as such a corporation, and with power to hold a dispose of lands and goods, for the use of the college with all the ordinary powers of corporations. Constitutional lawyer, Daniel Webster (17821852) defending Dartmouth College in Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1818).

What Was the Impact of the Marshall Court on the US Government?

Marshall's rulings made the Supreme Court the terminal arbiter of constitutional interpretation. This later reorganized the American system of government. The Marshall Court struck down an act of Congress in only one case (Marbury v. Madison in 1803). This redefined the Court as a source of ultimate power that had authority over Congress. Marshall also successfully defended the legal rights of corporations. He achieved this by relating them to the individual rights of stockholders. This ensured that corporations had the same level of property protection, as individuals had.


There is an engraved portrait of John Marshall on the United States paper money on the 1890 and 1891 banknotes. As of today, these notes are greatly valued by note collectors and are considered relics. In the year 1914, an engraved portrait of Marshall was used as the central vignette on a series of 1914 $500 national reserve notes. These notes are also quite rare. In 1928, Sir William McKinley replaced Marshall on the $500 bill. These records are preserved for viewing at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco website. In 2005, John Marshall was featured on a silver dollar. John Marshal is a force to reckon with. He is a political figure that one would easily be influenced by. He is the reason most countries entrust the Supreme Court with power vested in them to give the final rulings

Works Cited

Ohio State University: Department of History. Retrieving the American Past 18101860.

Pearson Custom Publishing and the Ohio State University, 2002, p. 3032. (Doc. A) Hofstadter, Richard. Great Issues in American History: Volume II, From the Revolution to Civil War, 17651865

Richard Hofstadter, 1958, p. 191200. (Doc. B) Carlton, David C. Selected Historical Documents to Accompany America's History:

Fourth Edition, Volume I: To1877. Bedford/ St. Martin's Co., 2001. p. 204206. (Doc. C)

Kurland, Philip B., and Gerhard Casper. Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law: Volume I. University Publications of America, 1978, p. 148158 and p. 357369. (Doc. D)

Greeley, Horace. The American Conflict. Hartford, O.D. Case & Co. Chicago, G. & C.W. Sherwood, 1866, p. 106. (Doc. E)

Jefferson, Thomas. Jefferson's Letters ., arranged by Willson Whitman. Eau Claire, Wis., E.M. Hale and Co., 194?, p. 338339. (Doc. F)

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