VI John Marshall and Judicial Nationalism
The political dominance of the Republicans after 1800 left the Supreme Court as the last bastion of Federalism in government. During his thirty-four years as chief justice, John Marshall stood fi rm against localizing tendencies and wrote the Federalist commitment to strong national government into the constitutional law of the nation. He shaped constitutional development more than all the presidents and congresses combined prior to the Civil War. Years after the Federalists had disappeared as a political party, their ideas survived in Marshall’s constitutional rulings. His decisions came to be regarded as great state papers, far more important and permanent than the pronouncements of elected political leaders.