1. James Monroe, 1817- 1825 --- Republican
Secretary of State --- John Quincy Adams
A. Marshall’s Decisions: McCulloch v. Maryland, 1819
This case arose because the state of Maryland had levied a tax on the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States. The opinion of Court delivered by Marshall was that the Maryland tax was unconstitutional. The main issues were whether Congress has the right to establish a national bank or a state had the power to tax or regulate agency or institution created by Congress. In response to the first issue, Marshall set forth his doctrine of “implied powers.” Conceding that no specific authorization to charter a bank could be found in the constitution, the chief justice argued that a right could be deduced from more general powers. Marshall thus struck a blow for loose construction of the Constitution, and a broad grant of power to the federal government to encourage economic growth and stability. In response to the second issue, Marshall held that the Bank was indeed such an agency and that giving a state the power to tax it would also give the state the power to destroy it. The debate over federal-state relations did not end until the northern victory in the Civil War decisively affirmed the dominance of federal authority. He’s decision gave great new weight to a nationalist constitution philosophy.
Dartmouth College v. Woodward, 1819
In this case, the court was asked to rule whether the legislature of New Hampshire had the right to convert Dartmouth from a private college into a university. Daniel Webster, the one arguing for the college and against the state, argued that Dartmouth’s original charter of 1769 was a valid and irrevocable contact. The Court accepted his argument. Marshall made that any charter granted by a state to a private corporation was fully protected by the contact issue. The Dartmouth case meant that the kinds of business enterprises then being incorporated by state governments could hold on to any privileges or favors that had been granted in their original charters. The decision increased the power and independence of business corporations by weakening ability of the states to regulate them or withdraw their privileges. This ruling helped foster the growth of the modern corporation as a profit-making enterprise with only limited public responsibilities.
Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824
In this case of 1824, the decision strengthened the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. A steam boat monopoly granted by the state of New York was challenged by a competed ferry service. The Court declared that the New York grant was unconstitutional because it was accounted to state interference with Congress’s exclusive right to regulate interstate commerce. The Court went a long way toward feeing private interests engaged in furthering the transportation revolution from state interference. Marshall’s decision broadened the power of the federal government at the expense of the states while at the same time encouraging the growth of a national market economy.
B. Acquisition of Florida to Spain, 1819
Between 1810 and 1812, the United States had annexed the area between the Mississippi River and the Perdido River in what became Alabama. They claimed that it was part of the Louisiana Purchase and East Florida became a prime object of territorial ambition. Jackson occupied East Florida in April and May of 1818. In November 1818, Adams informed Spanish government that America had acted in self-defense and that further conflict would be avoided only if East Florida was ceded to America.
C. Transcontinental or Adams – Onis Treaty, 1819
As part of the treaty, signed on February 22, Spain relinquished Florida to the United States. In return the United States assumed $5 million of the financial claims of American citizens against Spain. Adams induced Luis de Onis to agree to the creation of the new boundary…