chapter  VII
VII Majority Rule and Sectional Rights
Pages 20

Despite the favorable judgment of history, Marshall’s constitutional nationalism was not applauded by many of his contemporaries. His critics justifi ably charged him with steering a course that often ignored local interests and concerns. The localizing tendencies of Jeffersonianism to some extent refl ected the need for greater reliance on state government. As the country expanded and the population increased, many problems had to be addressed that were not dealt with by the federal government. The need for public solutions brought state authority into new areas of governance. The growing importance of state government, in turn, promoted the growth of sectionalism in politics at the national level. Groups of states with similar interests formed alliances that polarized the federal government on particular issues, one of which, slavery, would ultimately plunge the nation into civil war. The brief infatuation with nationalism that followed the War of 1812 soon gave way to an era of intense regional confl icts that threatened the survival of the Union.