Using a blend of primary and secondary sources, this research paper examines the lesser-known newspaper debate between Chief Justice John Marshall and Judge Spencer Roane of the Virginia Court of Appeals. The purpose of this research is to answer one question: What were the fundamental issues that divided early Americans as demonstrated by the landmark case of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)? To contribute to the ongoing discussion of McCulloch and its significance, my paper attempts to understand the issues surrounding McCulloch within its broader, historical context. Instead of confining its importance to the Second Bank of the United States, I identify McCulloch as a judicial case turned political—a divisive instance of constitutional conflict between Hamiltonian nationalism and Madisonian republicanism.



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