After the first Bank of the United States lost its charter, a second Bank of the United States was created in 1816 to resolve the country's economic problems. Controversies over the bank, its notes, and the entire paper money system were part of what brought the Supreme Court into the debate raised by McCulloch v. Maryland. The larger issue was one of sovereignty: Who rules? Who had the most power: the state or federal government? Such questions highlighted the United States's system of checks and balances, one of the foundations of democracy. The answers are found in McCulloch v. Maryland, which explains one of the most momentous decisions ever rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
About the Author:
Samuel Willard Crompton teaches history at Holyoke Community College and Westfield State College