This is a two-part class taught by Dr. John R. Pagan. Class one will take place on Thursday, October 19, and class two on Thursday, October 26. Learn about the Chief Justice John Marshall’s efforts through the process of judicial review to foster the creation and growth of a robust national market.
John Marshall, chief justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835, was an economic nationalist. “In all commercial regulations,” Marshall wrote in Cohens v. Virginia (1821), “we are one and the same people,” and therefore “the government which is alone capable of controlling and managing” the commercial interests of the American people “is the government of the Union.” Marshall tried to foster the creation of a robust national market and prevent a recurrence of the local protectionism that crippled commerce during the Confederation period. Through a skillful use of judicial review, he maximized the regulatory powers of Congress and significantly reduced state legislatures’ ability to interfere with the emergence of an American “common market.” This course will examine several of Marshall’s Supreme Court opinions and evaluate their impact.
Dr. John Ruston Pagan is a professor at the University of Richmond, where he teaches constitutional law, legal history, and early American history. He is the author of Anne Orthwood's Bastard: Sex and Law in Early Virginia (2003). He has taught several classes at the VHS on John Marshall and his era.
Class participants should enter the VHS using the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Learning Center.