Chapter

Virginia, Kentucky, and the Complex Politics of Early Republican Federalism

Lindsay G. Robertson

in Conquest by Law

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780195148695
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788941 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148695.003.0004
 Virginia, Kentucky, and the Complex Politics of Early Republican Federalism

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This chapter discusses how Chief Justice Marshall anticipated that questions might arise as to why he ventured so far beyond the minimum rationale necessary to support the Court's finding that the Illinois and Wabash purchases were invalid. To forestall such inquiry, he attributed the “degree of attention” that he “ bestowed upon this subject” to “the magnitude of the interest in litigation, and the able and elaborate arguments” advanced by Harper, Webster, Winder, and Murray. It is argued that Marshall's true motives were mixed. Like others of his generation, his interests were not entirely divorced from his politics. His decision in Johnson reflected his institutional concern for the power of the Supreme Court and his personal concern to secure land grants to Revolutionary War soldiers.

Keywords: Supreme Court; Chief Justice John Marshall; Johnson v. M'Intosh; Virginia; Kentucky; militia veterans

Chapter.  6264 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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