John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation

John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation

by Harlow Giles Unger
John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation

John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation

by Harlow Giles Unger



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A hero in America's war against British tyranny, John Marshall with his heroics as Chief Justice turned the Supreme Court into a bulwark against presidential and congressional tyranny and saved American democracy.

In this startling biography, award-winning author Harlow Giles Unger reveals how Virginia-born John Marshall emerged from the Revolutionary War's bloodiest battlefields to become one of the nation's most important Founding Fathers: America's greatest Chief Justice. Marshall served his country as an officer, Congressman, diplomat, and Secretary of State before President John Adams named him the nation's fourth Chief Justice, the longest-serving in American history. Marshall transformed the Supreme Court from an irrelevant appeals court into a powerful branch of government -- and provoked the ire of thousands of Americans who, like millions today, accused him and the court of issuing decisions that were tantamount to new laws and Constitutional amendments.

And the Court's critics were right! Marshall admitted as much.

With nine decisions that shocked the nation, John Marshall and his court assumed powers to strike down laws it deemed unconstitutional. In doing so, Marshall's court acted without Constitutional authority, but its decisions saved American liberty by protecting individual rights and the rights of private business against tyranny by federal, state, and local government.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306822216
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: eBook
Pages: 384
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Acclaimed historian Harlow Giles Unger is a former Distinguished Visiting Fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. He is the author of twenty-six previous books, including twelve biographies of America's Founding Fathers and three histories of the early Republic. He lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Chaos! 7

Chapter 2 Commotions 31

Chapter 3 "We, Sir, Idolize Democracy!" 51

Chapter 4 Quoits Was the Game 71

Chapter 5 The Great Divide 87

Chapter 6 The Two Happiest People on Earth 101

Chapter 7 X, Y, Z 117

Chapter 8 Our Washington Is Mo More 143

Chapter 9 Midnight Judges 159

Chapter 10 Mr. Chief Justice 183

Chapter 11 Party Rage 203

Chapter 12 A Deadly Interview 221

Chapter 13 The Trial 239

Chapter 14 Vie Court Must Be Obeyed 257

Chapter 15 An Era of Good Feelings 275

Chapter 16 The Final Arbiter 293

Appendix: Nine Great Cases of John Marshall's Supreme Court 321

Motes 327

Bibliography 351

Index 361

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