John Marshall's Legacy

John Marshall is often referred to as "The Great Chief Justice". This title is well earned and deserved. During his time as Chief Justice, the rulings the Supreme Court made forever shaped the destiny of America.
One of Marshall's most important contributions was the establishment of judicial review in Marbury vs. Madison. Judicial review gave the Supreme Court the power to invalidate the actions of the executive and legislative branches of the government. Judicial review is still practiced today in the United States and other constitutional democracies all around the world. It is usually used to determine if laws are in agreement with the constitution and to see if regulation set by government agencies stay within the bounds of legislation. When used correctly, judicial review is a powerful tool that ensures that a nation's laws and constitution are upheld.
Another important ruling by Marshall was that Congress had implied powers not stated in the Constitution in McCulloch vs. Maryland. This ruling was especially important to the growth of the United States. It allowed Congress to create and pass laws to serve the changing needs of the nation over time.                        
Overall, John Marshall's major contribution to American History was the strengthening of the federal government.  Through cases such as  McCulloch vs. Maryland and Gibbons vs. Ogden, Marshall made the power of the federal government greater than that of the state government. In McCulloch vs. Maryland and Marbury vs. Madison, the power of Congress and the Supreme Court were also increased, increased the  strength of central government even further. With these rulings John Marshall helped to fortify the federal government and make  America the great country she is today.       

A statue of John Marshall in Washington D.C.

A dollar coin commemorating the 250th anniversary of John Marshall's birth.