John Marshall: The Man who Saved the Supreme Court and the Nation Essay

John Marshall: The Man who Saved the Supreme Court and the Nation Essay

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Confucius said, “May you live in interesting times.” John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court certainly did, from witnessing the birth of our country, to serving as the longest tenured Chief Justice in Supreme Court History. In a span of just under two years, he went from serving as a member of Congress, representing Virginia's 13th District, to serving as the nation's fourth Secretary of State, to being appointed the fourth Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, January.
It Begins
John Marshall was born in 1755, the oldest of 15 children born to Thomas and Mary Keith Marshall in Fauquier County, Virginia. Marshall's formal education began at age 14 at the Campbelltown Academy in Westmoreland County, because there was no school in Fauquier County until 1777(Newmeyer, 7). While at the Academy Marshall became friends with James Monroe. Thomas Marshall acquired the services of a live-in tutor, James Thompson from Scotland, to educate the Marshall children. Except for a short time spent at the College of William and Mary, this was the sum total Marshall's formal education. With direction from his father, Marshall picked up the rest of his education on his own. Part of Thomas Marshall's influence in his son's education was his introduction to neighbor George Washington and future Virginia patriot and statesman, Patrick Henry, with whom he would meet several more times in his career.
The War Years
“The war was a constitutional education for Marshall because it was a colonial revolution that was justified by legal arguments and that it had as its objective the creation of a nation under law” (Newmeyer, 21). Marshall served in the Revolutionary War in several capacities; militiaman, officer a...

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...54. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 23 May 2010

John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court, R. Kent Newmyer, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, 2001, p. 7, 27,118.

John Marshall Definer of a Nation, Jean Edward Smith, Henry Holt and Company INC., New York, 1996.

Class Notes US Constitutional History T325-04S, Dr. Benton Gates instructor, IPFW.

1., May 26, 2010, Marbury v. Madison (1803) page 5 US 154.

2., May 26, 2010, Marbury v. Madison (1803) page 5 US 154.

3., June 4, 2010, McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

4., June 5, McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

5. The United States Constitution; Article I, Sec.8, Clause 18, Article VI, Clause 2.

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