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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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306822216
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 09/30/2014
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 612,919
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Harlow Giles Unger is a former distinguished visiting fellow at George Washington's Mount Vernon. A highly acclaimed historian, he is author of more than twenty books, including nine biographies of the Founding Fathers and four 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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John Marshall: The Chief Justice Who Saved the Nation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book because I knew very little about John Marshall.    John Marshall was the longest serving ever Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and he was the one that made the  Supreme Court what it is today-the third branch of the US Government separate and equal to the Legislative and Executive.    It is an easy biography to read.  Some early reviews complained that the book had a simplistic and one sided view of John Marshall.  While as can be seen later in this review there may be some truth to this compliant I still found the book very informative since I did not  know much about John Marshall. John Marshall was a friend of George Washington and fought in the Revolution.    He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, a Congressman and Secretary of State under John Adams.   He was a lawyer by training and often was a practicing lawyer.   Politically, he was a committed Federalist (believer in a strong Federal Government as opposed to state rights). The early years of John Marshall aren’t that interesting.   He seems to have been a respectable sort of person  and not much happens.  When the book starts getting into the XYZ affair when Marshall was Secretary of State, the book gets livelier.    Marshall and some other Americans go to negotiate a treaty in France and the French diplomats demand a bribe from the  American representatives which the Americans refuse to give.    Marshall becomes a hero to some Americans because he refused to bribe the French. In 1800, Jefferson who was a Republican defeated John Adams a Federalist for the office of President.   The Republicans also gained control of Congress.   John Adams was afraid that Jefferson would become dictator since Congress was controlled by Jefferson’s party.   So before Adams left the presidency, he packed the Federal courts with Federalist Judges.   John Marshall was put on the Supreme Court as part of Adams packing the court with Federalists Judges. Jefferson was furious about the packing of the Supreme Court and tried to have some of the judges removed.    All the current arguments against an activist Supreme Court were made by Thomas Jefferson. However, John Marshall and the Supreme Court survived Thomas Jefferson’s attempts to weaken it.   In fact John Marshall’s Supreme Court made a ruling against Thomas Jefferson in stating that he had to provide certain letters to a legal hearing.   Andrew Jackson was the first president to use the military to enforce Supreme Court decisions. The book reviews many of the early Supreme Court cases which I found interesting.   On the positive side, both John Marshall and the Supreme Court defended the rights of citizens from what might be seen as government overreach.    It also upheld citizens’ rights for due process.   More debatable the Supreme Court tended to uphold Federal Laws over state laws. In dealing with the bad boy of the American Revolution, Aaron Burr, I think the book justifies some of the criticism of being one sided.     The book denies that Aaron Burr ever wanted to make himself King of the Midwest but many historians would disagree with that historical interpretation of Burr. However, if one wants a lighter look at the history of the Supreme Court, of John Marshall: The Supreme Court's Chief  Justice Who Transformed the Young Republic is an informative and readable book.