Following the bitterly contested election between Adams and Jefferson in 1800, the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. When Adams sought to prolong his policies in defiance of the electorate by packing the courts, it became evident that the new Constitution was limited in its powers. Change was in order and John Marshall stepped up to the challenge. The Great Decision tells the riveting story of Marshall and of the landmark court case, Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transformed the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state. Rich in atmospheric detail, political intrigue, and fascinating characters, The Great Decision is an illuminating tale of America's formative years and the evolution of our democracy.
The must-read summary of Cliff Sloan and David McKean's book: “The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court”. This complete summary of "The Great Decision" by Cliff Sloan and David McKean provides an overview of the authors' account of the riveting court case that led Marshall to empower the Supreme Court and come up with the idea of separating powers in the way that they exist in today's modern state. Added-value of this summary: • Save time • Understand the role of the Supreme Court and the origins of its powers • Expand your knowledge of American politics and legislation To learn more, read "The Great Decision" and discover how the separation of powers into branches in the US first came about.
Author: Joel Richard Paul
Release Date: 2018
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
No member of America's Founding Generation had a greater impact on the Constitution and the Supreme Court than John Marshall, and no one did more to preserve the delicate unity of the fledgling United States. From the nation's founding in 1776 and for the next forty years, Marshall was at the center of every political battle. This is the astonishing true story of how a roughcut frontiersman--born in Virginia in 1755 and with little formal education--invented himself as one of the nation's preeminent lawyers and politicians who then reinvented the Constitution to forge a stronger nation.
Author: James F. Simon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2012-02-21
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-à-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 in 1803, 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.
Author: Ken Gormley
Publisher: NYU Press
Release Date: 2016-05-10
In this sweepingly ambitious volume, the nation’s foremost experts on the American presidency and the U.S. Constitution join together to tell the intertwined stories of how each American president has confronted and shaped the Constitution. Each occupant of the office—the first president to the forty-fourth—has contributed to the story of the Constitution through the decisions he made and the actions he took as the nation’s chief executive. By examining presidential history through the lens of constitutional conflicts and challenges, The Presidents and the Constitution offers a fresh perspective on how the Constitution has evolved in the hands of individual presidents. It delves into key moments in American history, from Washington’s early battles with Congress to the advent of the national security presidency under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, to reveal the dramatic historical forces that drove these presidents to action. Historians and legal experts, including Richard Ellis, Gary Hart, Stanley Kutler and Kenneth Starr, bring the Constitution to life, and show how the awesome powers of the American presidency have been shapes by the men who were granted them. The book brings to the fore the overarching constitutional themes that span this country’s history and ties together presidencies in a way never before accomplished. Exhaustively researched and compellingly presented, The Presidents and the Constitution shines new light on America’s brilliant constitutional and presidential history.
Author: David McKean
Release Date: 2016-05-10
The Founding Fathers, mythologized for their fervor for and dedication to democratic principles, were as heavily mired in partisanship, plagued by petty infighting, and driven by personal gain as, arguably, the most notorious members of today's Congress. In fact, David McKean reveals in this brilliant panoramic history that today's muddled political system is heavily indebted to a tradition begun from the outset, and perhaps to no one more so than Thomas McKean. Thomas McKean was America's first political operator—a man who installed himself at the center of every major political event of his time. In an extraordinary career that spanned almost half a century, McKean represented Pennsylvania and Delaware to the Stamp Act Congress and both Continental Congresses, and was instrumental in the creation of both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. He was one of the first to lobby for independence from British rule, the last to sign the Declaration of Independence, and was briefly the second President of Congress while George Washington was away. For twenty-two years, he served as chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, during which time his rulings would set the precedent for what was to become the American legal system. He was elected Governor of Pennsylvania three times, during which time he fostered a tradition of partisanship in his government. Although lesser known than his friends at different times—John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson—McKean was among the most prominent of the Founding Fathers, and the only one to serve in all three branches of government. But McKean was also a difficult, arrogant man whose political beliefs seemed to his adversaries to be expediently flexible. In the 1770s, when the bulk of McKean's constituency in Pennsylvania consisted of radical farmers and artisans who favored political participation regardless of property ownership and independence—and so McKean did too. It was on this platform he quickly rose to become a populist leader with mass appeal. As political parties began to emerge in the decades following independence, Thomas McKean, like many others, grew increasingly partisan, and fervently believed that political loyalty should play as important a role as competence in both the selection and removal of public servants. John Adams wrote that the early Founding Father, his colleague in the Continental Congress, was the one of the few “to see more clearly to the end of the business than any others in the whole body.” by a quintessential DC insider, and inheritor to Thomas McKean's aptitude for nimble politicking, The Revolutionary Life of Thomas McKean offers a complex historical biography of a man who had an invaluable impact on the nature of governance in this country for centuries.
"The author of The Butler presents a revelatory biography of the first African-American Supreme Court justice--one of the giants of the civil rights movement, and one of the most transforming Supreme Court justices of the 20th century, "--Novelist.
Author: Daniel L. Mallock
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2016-02-02
The drama of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson is the foundational story of America—courage, loyalty, hope, fanaticism, greatness, failure, forgiveness, love. Agony and Eloquence is the story of the greatest friendship in American history and the revolutionary times in which it was made, ruined, and finally renewed. In the wake of Washington’s retirement, longtime friends Thomas Jefferson and John Adams came to represent the opposing political forces struggling to shape America’s future. Adams’s victory in the presidential election of 1796 brought Jefferson into his administration—but as an unlikely and deeply conflicted vice president. The bloody Republican revolution in France finally brought their political differences to a bitter pitch. In Mallock’s take on this fascinating period, French foreign policy and revolutionary developments—from the fall of the Bastille to the fall of the Jacobins and the rise of Napoleon—form a disturbing and illuminating counterpoint to events, controversies, individuals, and relationships in Philadelphia and Washington. Many important and fascinating people appear in the book, including Thomas Paine, Camille Desmoulins, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Tobias Lear, Talleyrand, Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just, Abigail Adams, Lafayette, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Dr. Joseph Priestley, Samuel Adams, Philip Mazzei, John Marshall, Alexander Hamilton, and Edward Coles. They are brought to life by Mallock’s insightful analysis and clear and lively writing. Agony and Eloquence is a thoroughly researched and tautly written modern history. When the most important thing is at stake, almost anything can be justified. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history--books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Author: Jean Edward Smith
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2014-03-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A New York Times Notable Book of 1996 It was in tolling the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in 1835 that the Liberty Bell cracked, never to ring again. An apt symbol of the man who shaped both court and country, whose life "reads like an early history of the United States," as the Wall Street Journal noted, adding: Jean Edward Smith "does an excellent job of recounting the details of Marshall's life without missing the dramatic sweep of the history it encompassed."
Author: Gore Vidal
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2008-10-01
Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and one of the most acute observers of American life and history, turns his immense literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. In Inventing a Nation, Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls, and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. We come to know these men, through Vidal’s splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now—their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy. Vidal brings them to life at the key moments of decision in the birthing of our nation. He also illuminates the force and weight of the documents they wrote, the speeches they delivered, and the institutions of government by which we still live. More than two centuries later, America is still largely governed by the ideas championed by this triumvirate.
Author: John Ferling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2004-09-03
It was a contest of titans: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two heroes of the Revolutionary era, once intimate friends, now icy antagonists locked in a fierce battle for the future of the United States. The election of 1800 was a thunderous clash of a campaign that climaxed in a deadlock in the Electoral College and led to a crisis in which the young republic teetered on the edge of collapse. Adams vs. Jefferson is the gripping account of a turning point in American history, a dramatic struggle between two parties with profoundly different visions of how the nation should be governed. The Federalists, led by Adams, were conservatives who favored a strong central government. The Republicans, led by Jefferson, were more egalitarian and believed that the Federalists had betrayed the Revolution of 1776 and were backsliding toward monarchy. The campaign itself was a barroom brawl every bit as ruthless as any modern contest, with mud-slinging, scare tactics, and backstabbing. The low point came when Alexander Hamilton printed a devastating attack on Adams, the head of his own party, in "fifty-four pages of unremitting vilification." The stalemate in the Electoral College dragged on through dozens of ballots. Tensions ran so high that the Republicans threatened civil war if the Federalists denied Jefferson the presidency. Finally a secret deal that changed a single vote gave Jefferson the White House. A devastated Adams left Washington before dawn on Inauguration Day, too embittered even to shake his rival's hand. With magisterial command, Ferling brings to life both the outsize personalities and the hotly contested political questions at stake. He shows not just why this moment was a milestone in U.S. history, but how strongly the issues--and the passions--of 1800 resonate with our own time.
Author: Lawrence Goldstone
Release Date: 2011-01-04
In the waning days of his presidency, in January 1801, John Adams made some historic appointments to preserve his Federalist legacy. Foremost among them, he named his secretary of state, John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court-neither of them anticipating that Marshall would soon need to decide the most crucial case in Supreme Court history-Marbury vs. Madison. The Activist is the story of that case and its impact on American history. It revolved around a suit brought by Federalist William Marbury and 3 others that unwittingly set off a Constitutional debate that has reverberated for more than two centuries, for the case introduced a principle ("judicial review") at the heart of our democracy: does the Supreme Court have the right to interpret the Constitution and the law. Acclaimed narrative historian Larry Goldstone makes this early American legal drama come alive for readers today as a seminal moment in our history, chronicling, as it does, the formation and foundation of the Supreme Court. But it has ever since given cover to justices, like Antonin Scalia today, who assert the Court's power over the meaning of the Constitution.That Marshall's opinion was also the very height of the judicial activism that Scalia, John Roberts, and their fellow conservatives deplore promises to be one of American history's great ironies.The debate began in 1801, and continues to this day-and in Lawrence Goldstone's hands, it has never been more interesting or relevant for general readers.