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Thomas Jefferson By: Tan Ly Essay

1230 words - 5 pages

Thomas Jefferson was one of the most prominent politicians of his time. He was the author of the Declaration of Independence, and helped to create the political systems that are still present in America today. Jefferson served as Secretary of State in George Washington's cabinet, and later became the third President of the United States. Jefferson was an advocate of state rights to govern themselves, and was very anti- federalist. He helped built the political skeleton that the United States government is based on. Throughout the next few paragraphs, I will illustrate different views and opinions that Jefferson expressed during the birth of our nation.After the American Revolution, America's ...view middle of the document...

Both of these influential politicians were members of Washington's cabinet, and he feared the separation that was forming.Maryland was one state in the Union that opposed the formation of the National Bank, and even made an attempt to destroy it. Maryland attempted to raise its revenues by taxing the federal currency. This created a lot of controversy amongst the federalist and the advocates of the bank. In the famous court case, McCullough vs. Maryland, Chief Justice Marshall, who was die-hard Hamiltonian federalist, ruled that state governments hard no right tax federal entities. Marshall supported the constitutionality of the bank by stating that states had no right to tax imports or exports, therefore they had no right to tax the constitutional laws of the Union. He also stated that the power to create implies the power to preserve. Since the federal government established the bank, they have the right to preserve it. This ruling strongly supported the National Bank, and revealed Marshall's support for a strong central government.At the end of Marshall's address of his ruling, he states, "The question is, in truth, a question of ." This statement made by Marshall refers to the never ending controversy of state power vs. federal power, and which one is supreme. Marshall firmly believes that the supreme power of the nation resides in the federal government, and the Constitution. Marshall also believes that if he had ruled otherwise, the laws formed through the Constitution would be meaningless, and unfulfilled.There are many different opinions on the reasoning for Marshall's decision. Some believe that he rendered his decision due to his distaste for Jefferson, and other believes that his decision derived from fundamental political differences. I personally believe that Chief Justice Marshall made his decision based on legitimate political reasoning. Marshall states, "If the states may tax one instrument employed by the government in the of its powers, they may tax any and every other instrument. They may tax the mail; they may tax the mint; they may tax patent rights; they may tax the papers of the custom-house; they may tax judicial process; they may tax all the means employed by the government, to an excess which would defeat all the ends of government." I agree with Marshall's reasoning. If the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Maryland, states would likely tax other government instruments. This would destroy the governing structure that had thus far been created for the benefit of the people. At the same time, his dislike for Jefferson may have been a catalyst in his decision...

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