John Marshall

John Marshall
John Marshall by Henry Inman, 1832.jpg
4th Chief Justice of the United States
In office
February 4, 1801 – July 6, 1835[1]
Nominated byJohn Adams
Preceded byOliver Ellsworth
Succeeded byRoger Taney
4th United States Secretary of State
In office
June 13, 1800 – March 4, 1801
PresidentJohn Adams
Preceded byTimothy Pickering
Succeeded byJames Madison
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 13th district
In office
March 5, 1799 – June 6, 1800
Preceded byJohn Clopton
Succeeded byLittleton Tazewell
Personal details
Born(1755-09-24)September 24, 1755
Germantown, Virginia, British America
DiedJuly 6, 1835(1835-07-06) (aged 79)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyFederalist
Spouse(s)Mary Willis Ambler
Children10, including Edward
EducationCollege of William and Mary
Signature
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branchContinental Army
RankLieutenant
Battles/warsAmerican Revolutionary War

John James Marshall (September 24, 1755 – July 6, 1835) was an American politician who served as the fourth Chief Justice of the United States from 1801 to 1835. Marshall remains the longest-serving chief justice in Supreme Court history, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential justices to ever sit on the Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Marshall served as the United States Secretary of State under Federalist President John Adams.

Marshall was born in Fauquier County, Virginia in 1755. After the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, he joined the Continental Army, serving in numerous battles. During the later stages of the war, he was admitted to the state bar and won election to the Virginia House of Delegates. Marshall favored the ratification of the United States Constitution, and he played a major role in Virginia's ratification of that document. At the request of President Adams, Marshall traveled to France in 1797 to help bring an end to attacks on American shipping. In what became known as the XYZ Affair, the French government refused to open negotiations unless the United States agreed to pay bribes. After returning to the United States, Marshall won election to the United States House of Representatives and emerged as a Federalist leader in Congress. He was appointed secretary of state in 1800 after a cabinet shake-up, becoming an important figure in the Adams administration.

In 1801, Adams appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court. Marshall quickly emerged as the key figure on the court, due in large part to his personal influence with the other justices. Under his leadership, the court moved away from seriatim opinions, instead issuing a single majority opinion that elucidated a clear rule. The 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison presented the first major case heard by the Marshall Court. In his opinion for the court, Marshall upheld the principle of judicial review, whereby courts could strike down federal and state laws if they conflicted with the Constitution. Marshall's holding avoided direct conflict with the executive branch, which was led by Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson. By establishing the principle of judicial review while avoiding an inter-branch confrontation, Marshall helped cement the position of the American judiciary as an independent and co-equal branch of government.

After 1803, many of the major decisions issued by the Marshall Court confirmed the supremacy of the federal government and the federal Constitution over the states. In Fletcher v. Peck and Dartmouth College v. Woodward, the court invalidated state actions because they violated the Contract Clause. The court's decision in McCulloch v. Maryland upheld the constitutionality of the Second Bank of the United States and established the principle that the states could not tax federal institutions. The cases of Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and Cohens v. Virginia established that the Supreme Court could hear appeals from state courts in both civil and criminal matters. Marshall's opinion in Gibbons v. Ogden established that the Commerce Clause bars states from restricting navigation. In the case of Worcester v. Georgia, Marshall held that the federal government had the sole power to deal with Native Americans, and he ordered the release of prisoners held by the state of Georgia. President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the order, but his administration avoided a confrontation with the Marshall Court by arranging for the pardon of the prisoners. Marshall died in 1835, and Jackson appointed Roger Taney as his successor.

Early years (1755 to 1782)

John Marshall's Birthplace Monument in Germantown, Virginia.
Coat of Arms of John Marshall.

John Marshall was born on September 24, 1755 in a log cabin in Germantown,[2] a rural community on the Virginia frontier, close to present-day near Midland, Fauquier County. In the mid-1760s, the Marshalls moved west to the present-day site of Markham, Virginia.[3] His parents were Thomas Marshall and Mary Isham Keith, the granddaughter of politician Thomas Randolph of Tuckahoe. Despite her ancestry, Mary was shunned by the Randolph family because her mother had eloped with a Scottish minister.[4][a] Thomas Marshall was employed in Fauquier County as a surveyor and land agent by Lord Fairfax, which provided him with a substantial income.[6] Nonetheless, John Marshall grew up in a two-room log cabin, which he shared with his parents and several siblings; Marshall was the oldest of fifteen siblings.[3] One of his younger brothers, James Markham Marshall, would briefly serve as a federal judge.[7][b]

The Hollow House.

From a young age, Marshall was noted for his good humor and black eyes, which were "strong and penetrating, beaming with intelligence and good nature".[11] With the exception of one year of formal schooling, during which time he befriended future president James Monroe, Marshall did not receive a formal education. Encouraged by his parents, the young Marshall read widely, reading works such as William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England and Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man.[12] He was also tutored by the Reverend James Thomson, a recently ordained deacon from Glasgow, Scotland, who resided with the Marshall family in return for his room and board.[13] Marshall was especially influenced by his father, of whom he wrote, "to his care I am indebted for anything valuable which I may have acquired in my youth. He was my only intelligent companion; and was both a watchful parent and an affectionate friend."[14] Thomas Marshall prospered in his work as a surveyor, and in the 1770s he purchased an estate known as Oak Hill.[15]

After the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord, Thomas and John Marshall volunteered for service in the 3rd Virginia Regiment.[16] In 1776, Marshall became a lieutenant in the Eleventh Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army.[17] During the American Revolutionary War, he served in several battles, including the Battle of Brandywine, and endured the winter at Valley Forge. After he was furloughed in 1780, Marshall began attending the College of William and Mary.[18] Marshall read law under the famous Chancellor George Wythe at the College of William and Mary, and he was admitted to the state bar in 1780.[19] After briefly rejoining the Continental Army, Marshall won election to the Virginia House of Delegates in early 1782.[20]

Other Languages
العربية: جون مارشال
български: Джон Маршал
Deutsch: John Marshall
español: John Marshall
한국어: 존 마셜
Bahasa Indonesia: John Marshall
italiano: John Marshall
עברית: ג'ון מרשל
Bahasa Melayu: John Marshall
português: John Marshall
русский: Маршалл, Джон
Simple English: John Marshall
slovenčina: John Marshall
slovenščina: John Marshall
svenska: John Marshall
українська: Джон Маршалл
Winaray: John Marshall