WHAT KIND OF NATION ~ Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States
Book review and technical detail WHAT KIND OF NATION ~ Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States James F. Simon
|Technical detail of WHAT KIND OF NATION ~ Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States|
|Title||WHAT KIND OF NATION ~ Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States|
|author||James F. Simon|
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
From NYU law assistant Simon: a apprehensible annual of the affray amid two absolute men and two acutely aberrant political tendencies.Jefferson, writes Simon (The Center Holds: The Ability Struggle Inside the Rehnquist Court, 1995; Law/NYU), had a abstruse disbelief for centralized authority, be it baron or Congress, and a acrimonious suspicion that “the Constitution was an allurement to monarchy.” To adverse the growing ability of the Federalists, he organized the Democratic-Republican Party and set about agilely agitation such legislation as the Jay Treaty of 1794 and the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. (Though he believed the additional law gave too abundant ability to the federal government, Simon notes, Jefferson “did not article to careful prosecutions of his political critics beneath accompaniment alienated aspersion laws.”) Jefferson aloof appropriate antipathy for his arch Federalist bugaboo, adolescent Virginian John Marshall, whom he derided for “acting beneath the affectation of Republicanism” and announcement “lax lounging manners.” As administrator and after as Supreme Cloister justice, Marshall would accord the acclaim by battling Jefferson at every turn, apprehensive that he approved to abate the ability of the federal government and abnormally the controlling in adjustment to access his claimed power. Marshall’s action came conceivably boilerplate added forcibly than in his conception of the federal judiciary’s accommodation in the 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, which disqualified that the cloister abandoned was amenable for free what was or was not built-in and could bang bottomward aldermanic legislation and controlling orders on built-in grounds. Simon addendum that the agitation amid the two political philosophies, arraying states’ rights on one duke and federal ability on the other, has been a connected in American political history, though, as he writes, the uses to which Jefferson’s states’-rights arguments accept been put “would apparently accept afraid the nation’s third president.” Simon’s accomplished adventure in acknowledged and political history illuminates both the roots of an advancing altercation and the characters of two abundant celebrated figures.
"What Kind of Nation" is a riveting account of the bitter and protracted struggle between two titans of the early republic over the power of the presidency and the independence of the judiciary. The clash between fellow Virginians (and second cousins) Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall remains the most decisive confrontation between a president and a chief justice in American history. Fought in private as well as in full public view, their struggle defined basic constitutional relationships in the early days of the republic and resonates still in debates over the role of the federal government vis-a-vis the states and the authority of the Supreme Court to interpret laws. Jefferson was a strong advocate of states' rights who distrusted the power of the federal government. He believed that the Constitution defined federal authority narrowly and left most governmental powers to the states. He was suspicious of the Federalist-dominated Supreme Court, whose members he viewed as partisan promoters of their political views at the expense of Jefferson's Republicans. When he became president, Jefferson attempted to correct the Court's bias by appointing Republicans to the Court. He also supported an unsuccessful impeachment of Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Marshall believed in a strong federal government and was convinced that an independent judiciary offered the best protection for the Constitution and the nation. After he was appointed by Federalist President John Adams to be chief justice in 1801 (only a few weeks before Jefferson succeeded Adams), he issued one far-reaching opinion after another. Beginning with the landmark decision "Marbury v. Madison" in1803, and through many cases involving states' rights, impeachment, treason, and executive privilege, Marshall established the Court as the final arbiter of the Constitution and the authoritative voice for the constitutional supremacy of the federal government over the states. As Marshall's views prevailed, Jefferson became increasingly bitter, certain that the Court was suffocating the popular will. But Marshall's carefully reasoned rulings endowed the Court with constitutional authority even as they expanded the power of the federal government, paving the way for later Court decisions sanctioning many pivotal laws of the modern era, such as those of the New Deal, the Great Society, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In a fascinating description of the treason trial of Jefferson's former vice president, Aaron Burr, James F. Simon shows how Marshall rebuffed President Jefferson's claim of executive privilege. That decision served as precedent for a modern Supreme Court ruling rejecting President Nixon's claim that he did not have to hand over the Watergate tapes. More than 150 years after Jefferson's and Marshall's deaths, their words and achievements still reverberate in constitutional debate and political battle. "What Kind of Nation" is a dramatic rendering of a bitter struggle between two shrewd politicians and powerful statesmen that helped create a "United" States.
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