AP US History
TWO KEY MARSHALL COURT DECISIONS
Preparing for the AP US History Exam
Chief Justice John Marshall believed he could best serve America by rendering Supreme Court decisions that supported a strong central government, encouraged business enterprise, and promoted a unified national economy. Marbury v. Madison gave the Supreme Court the power to strike down a Congressional action for violating a provision of the Constitution. The landmark McCulloch v. Maryland decision established the legality of the National Bank thus reinforcing the primacy of federal jurisdiction in constitutional matters. It is important to note that South Carolina’s attempt to nullify a federal tariff law represented an unsuccessful attempt to contradict the precedent established in McCulloch v. Maryland.