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The Supreme Court under Marshall and Taney, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-88295-241-3
191 pages
December 2005, ©2006, Wiley-Blackwell
The Supreme Court under Marshall and Taney, 2nd Edition (0882952412) cover image


In preparing the long-awaited second edition of his well-liked text, Kent Newmyer consulted the best and most relevant of the recent scholarship on the antebellum Court, prompting him to revise important points in the story of the Court’s evolution.

Nevertheless, the revised edition of the text retains the basic format and the conceptual premise of the original: the unique contributions of the Marshall and Taney courts taken together laid the foundation for the modern institution. Understanding the Supreme Court during its formative period provides useful insights into its continued (and hotly debated) involvement in shaping American society. Seminal cases that came before the Court, such as Marbury v. Madison and Dred Scott v. Sanford are examined in detail.

Besides touting a thoroughly revised bibliographical essay, the second edition of The Supreme Court under Marshall and Taney includes an entirely new bank of illustrations and an index of important cases, making it perfect as supplementary reading for the U.S. history survey as well as courses in U.S. legal history and the history of the Early Republic.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

Chapter One. The Framework of Judicial Statesmanship 1

Limitations on Judicial Lawmaking 6

The Potential of Judicial Statesmanship 10

The Court and The Men and Women on It 16

Chapter Two. John Marshall and the Consolidation of National Power 18

The Struggle for Judicial Power: Marbury v. Madison 22

Consolidating National Power 39

A Philosophy of National Power 52

Chapter Three. Capitalism and the Marshall Court: Judicial Review in Action 55

The Marshall Court, State Power, and Agrarian Capitalism 59

The Court and the Rise of the American Business Corporation 70

Retreat under Fire 79

Chapter Four. The Taney Court: Democracy Captures the Citadel 89

King Andrew’s Court 92

Corporations and The Court: The New Look 94

The Taney Court and The Commerce Clause 101

Continuity Versus Change: The Haunting Presence of John Marshall 108

The Case for Judicial Statesmanship 113

Chapter Five. The Court’s Time of Troubles: Slavery, Sectionalism, and War 118

The Court and Slavery 122

The Fugitive Slave Question 123

Slavery in the Territories 127

Enter Dred Scott 131

Pitfalls of Judicial Discretion 138

The War Years: The Court Survives 142

Chapter Six. The Legacy of the Supreme Court under Marshall and Taney 146

Bibliographical Essay 153

Glossary of Legal Terms 170

The Supreme Court, 1801-1864 172

Index of Cases 176

Index 179

Illustrations follow page 88

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Author Information

R. Kent Newmyer is Distinguished Alumni Professor, Emeritus, at the University of Connecticut, and Professor of Law and History at the University of Connecticut School of Law, where he teaches courses in American constitutional and legal history. His teaching and research specialty is the legal and political history of the early republic. His judicial biography, Joseph Story: Statesman of the Old Republic (1985), received the Littleton-Griswold Award from the American Historical Association for the best book on law and society for 1985; a Certificate of Merit from the American Bar Association; and the Benchmark Book Award for 1985-86 in recognition of its contribution to legal history and the role of the judiciary. His most recent work, John Marshall and the Heroic Age of the Supreme Court (2001), received the Jules and Frances Landry Award from LSU Press and was the winner of the Fifth Annual Library of Virginia Award for the best nonfiction book for 2002.

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"Like the first edition, this book will prove invaluable to scholars, teachers, and students. ...Because Newmyer skillfully treats a large body of material in such a clear and compelling fashion, this book remains one of the best studies of the nineteenth-century Supreme Court." (The American Journal of Legal History, Winter 2005)
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