The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVI. Early National Literature, Part II; Later National Literature, Part I.

XV. Publicists and Orators, 1800–1850

§ 4. John Marshall

The jurists of the time may here be considered first, although, as already said, it is not possible to disassociate the greatest among them from the problems which enlisted the enthusiasm and interest of the orator and political leader. If one turns, for example, to the decisions which John Marshall (1755–1835) gave as chief justice, one at once thinks of the work of Calhoun and other great particularists, who in the field of active politics put forth theories totally at variance with those coming from the Court. It is, therefore, quite impossible to detach Marshall from the most important movements of his time; for his words lose significance unless we see that they marked out lines of social and political progress and profoundly affected the character and career of the nation. And thus too, if the establishment of a widely accepted system of jurisprudence is necessary for the building up of a common industrial and social life for the nation at large, the work of Joseph Story, James Kent, and others, cannot be assigned to any narrow field of technical jurisprudence of interest to the professional lawyer alone.