Aggressive Nationalism

Aggressive Nationalism : McCulloch v. Maryland and the Foundation of Federal Authority in the Young Republic

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McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) has long been recognized to be one of the most significant decisions ever handed down by the United States Supreme Court. Indeed, many scholars have argued it is the greatest opinion handed down by our greatest Chief Justice. Much of this praise is merited for it is brilliantly argued, far reaching in its implications, and unusually eloquent. While Marshall, dedicated to the vision of a powerful and growing nation, ultimately laid the foundation for the living constitution, the impact of the opinion in his own time was short-lived. Almost all treatments of the case consider it from the vantage point of Chief Marshall's decision in which he famously declared the act creating the Second Bank of the United States constitutional and Maryland's attempt to tax it unconstitutional. Yet a careful examination of the context in which the case emerged reveals other, even more important issues involved that Marshall chose to ignore: the private profit making nature of the Second Bank of the United States; the power of the Bank to create branches in the states without their consent, which many people viewed as a direct assault upon the sovereignty of the states; and the differences between a tax levied by a state for the purposes of raising revenue and one which was meant to destroy the operations of the branches of the Bank. Addressing these issues most likely would have undercut Marshall's extreme nationalist view of the constitution, and his unwillingness to adequately deal with them produced immediate, widespread, yet varied dissatisfaction among the States. These issues are particularly important as the Supreme Court was forced to rehear them in Osborn et. al. v. Bank of the United States (1824) and they also formed the basis for Andrew Jackson's famous veto for the re-chartering of the Bank in 1832. Not only the first in-depth examination of McCulloch v. Maryland, but also a new interpretation of this familiar and landmark decision, this sharply argued book provides much new information and fresh insight into a source of constant division in American politics, past and present.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 280 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 25.4mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0195323564
  • 9780195323566
  • 2,076,612

Review quote

"A firm narrative that will be fascinating to the general reader"--Maryland Historical Magazine"Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a major contribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University"Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutional interpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis also properly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case"Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University"The Ellis text offers insightful analysis of how individual states fared before, during, and after the national bank controversy."--Law and Politics Book Review"a detailed account of one of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases in the early nineteenth century...Ellis is adept at using the story of McCulloch to illuminate the broader politics of the middle Jeffersonian era...Ellis's careful attention to the conflicted feelings about the loss of control over credit and revenue in the states in the 1810s is most welcome."--The Journal of American History "Ellis's book should be read for its valuable exploration of sub-state versus federal constitutional politics."--The American Historical Review "A firm narrative that will be fascinating to the general reader"--Maryland Historical Magazine"Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a major contribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University"Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutional interpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis also properly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case"Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University"The Ellis text offers insightful analysis of how individual states fared before, during, and after the national bank controversy."--Law and Politics Book Review"a detailed account of one of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases in the early nineteenth century...Ellis is adept at using the story of McCulloch to illuminate the broader politics of the middle Jeffersonian era...Ellis's careful attention to the conflicted feelings about the loss of control over credit and revenue in the states in the 1810s is most welcome."--The Journal of American History "Ellis's book should be read for its valuable exploration of sub-state versus federal constitutional politics."--The American Historical Review "Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a major contribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University "Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutional interpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis also properly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case "Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University "Richard Ellis's study usefully places McCulloch v. Maryland in its broad historical context. By doing so, Ellis demonstrates yet again how Chief Justice John Marshall cleverly situated his most sweepingconstitutional pronouncements in cases that raised only narrow issues and would not, when decided, present the Supreme Court with difficult problems of enforcement."--William E. Nelson, New York University School of Law "Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a major contribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University "The Ellis text offers insightful analysis of how individual states fared before, during, and after the national bank controversy."--Law and Politics Book Review "Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a majorcontribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University"Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutionalinterpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis alsoproperly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case"Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University"Richard Ellis's study usefully places McCulloch v. Maryland in its broad historical context. By doing so, Ellis demonstrates yet again how Chief Justice John Marshall cleverly situated his mostsweeping constitutional pronouncements in cases that raised only narrow issues and would not, whendecided, present the Supreme Court with difficult problems of enforcement."--William E. Nelson, New York University School of Law "Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a majorcontribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University"Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutionalinterpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis alsoproperly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case"Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University"Richard Ellis's study usefully places McCulloch v. Maryland in its broad historical context. By doing so, Ellis demonstrates yet again how Chief JusticeJohn Marshall cleverly situated his most sweeping constitutional pronouncements in cases that raised only narrow issues and would not, whendecided, present the Supreme Court with difficult problems of enforcement."--William E. Nelson, New York University School of Law "Richard E. Ellis has once again earned great admiration from all students of American history. Lucid, forceful, and important, Aggressive Nationalism will fundamentally change the standard views of emerging American nationalism and the fascinating politics that lay behind it. It is a major contribution from a consistently impressive and pioneering historian."--Sean Wilentz, Princeton University "Richard Ellis always finds new ways of understanding familiar topics - with the added, singular virtue of being so right. A judicious historian, Ellis determinedly renders historical events in real time and place. John Marshall's McCulloch v. Maryland opinion--long a chestnut of constitutional interpretation and analysis--endures as a bold statement for perennial problems of federalism and constitutional interpretation (despite Justice Scalia's misguided disdain). Ellis effectively challenges Marshall's questionable determination to protect the Bank of the United States; but Ellis also properly recognizes that Marshall's striking language remains the standard for a wise, pragmatic, and evolving interpretation of the Constitution. We can be grateful for this extraordinary book."--Stanley Kutler, author of Privilege and Creative Destruction: The Charles River Bridge Case "Both scholarly and readable, this study puts the great case of McCulloch v. Maryland in a clear historical context. It will enlighten both students and specialists."--Michael Les Benedict, Ohio State University "Richard Ellis's study usefully places McCulloch v. Maryland in its broad historical context. By doing so, Ellis demonstrates yet again how Chief JusticeJohn Marshall cleverly situated his most sweeping constitutional pronouncements in cases that raised only narrow issues and would not, when decided, present the Supreme Court with difficult problems of enforcement."--William E. Nelson, New York University School of Lawshow more

About Richard E. Ellis

Richard E. Ellis is Professor of History at the University of Buffalo, SUNY. Among his published works are The Jeffersonian Crisis: Courts and Politics in the Young Republic (1971) and The Union at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, State's Rights, and the Nullification Crisis (1987). He has held grants from The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.show more

Table of contents

Introduction ; 1. The United States Supreme Court vs.the States ; 2. The Second Bank of the United States ; 3. The States vs. the 2BUS ; 4. McCulloch v. Maryland ; 5. Virginia's Response to McCulloch v. Maryland ; 6. Ohio and the Bank of the United States ; 7. Ohio and Georgia before the United States Supreme Court ; 8. Coda ; Endnotes ; Indexshow more

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