Free McCulloch v. Maryland E-Book

Federalism or Centralism. States Rights or National Consolidation. Liberty or Tyranny.

These were the central issues considered in the 1819 Supreme Court’s decision, McCulloch v. Maryland.

Forgotten is how this decision exposed the political divisions present within the country and may have worsened those divisions.

In McCulloch v. Maryland: The Extended Debate, source documents from the case are presented as a foundation for understanding the decision. Included is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall’s opinion, as well as briefs from the six arguing attorneys. However, what makes this book unique is the inclusion of a debate in the form of letters, published in prominent newspapers, between Marshall and Virginia Court of Appeals judge, Spencer Roane. Roane was a prominent “states rights” advocate, and son-in-law of founding father Patrick Henry.

Before LINCOLN-DOUGLAS there was MARSHALL – ROANE

These letters reveal the heated arguments on both sides and the importance of the debate. Roane with careful logic and historical accuracy charges the Supreme Court with a failure to understand the nature of the federal government and the Constitution. In Roane’s opinion the debate concerned the very foundations of liberty itself.

Marshall, trying to point out flaws in Roane’s arguments, responds with masterful rhetoric. For Marshall the nature of the Union was at stake. Seldom in history has a Supreme Court judge taken to “prime time” to defend his decision.

As one reads through the pages of McCulloch v. Maryland: The Extended Debate, you will learn why this Supreme Court decision was vitally important for understanding the nature of our government then and today. McCulloch was not simply a historic event lost in time; it graphically illustrated two very different visions for the future of our country.

For understanding where we came from as a nation and where we are headed, McCulloch v. Maryland: the Extended Debate is an important resource for history students, parents, teachers, and everyone who wants to know more about our country.

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