The bitter and protracted struggle between President Thomas Jefferson
and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall
defined the basic constitutional relationship between the executive
branches of government. More than one hundred fifty years later, their clashes still reverberate in constitutional debates and political battles.In this dramatic and fully accessible account of these titans of the early republic and their fiercely held ideas, James F. Simon brings to life the early history of the nation and sheds new light on the highly charged battle to balance the powers of the federal government and the rights of the states
. A fascinating look at two of the nation's greatest statesmen and shrewdest politicians, What Kind of Nation
presents a cogent, unbiased assessment of their lasting impact on American government.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, founded the Democratic-Republican Party and was the third President. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the country, and judges the actions of citizens and governments alike on the basis of the Constitution. Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, whose appointments are for life, have a single vote in decisions but are instrumental in forming court opinions. John Marshall served as Chief Justice on the Supreme Court longer than anyone else and authored the decisions that established the court's primacy on constitutional questions. The dividing line between the powers of the federal government, designated by the Constitution, and those reserved for the states has long been controversial.