For 34 years, John Marshall presided as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. During his service, Marshall transformed the nation’s top court and its judicial branch into the powerful body and co-equal branch of government we know it as today.
The Doing History: Biography series continues as Joel Richard Paul, a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings Law School and author of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times, joins us to explore the life of John Marshall and how he wrote his biography.
About the Series
The Doing History: Biography series explores the genre of biography, how it relates to and is different from the genre of history, and how historians and biographers can best uncover and understand the lives of people from the past.
The Doing History series explores early American history and how historians work. It is part of Ben Franklin’s World, which is produced by the Omohundro Institute.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Joel Richard Paul, a professor of law at the University of California, Hastings Law School and author of Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times, joins us to explore the life of John Marshall and how he wrote his biography.
During our conversation, Joel reveals: Why he chose to research and write a biography about John Marshall; Details about Marshall’s early life and how he came to serve as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; And, how Marshall was able to transform the Supreme Court and the judicial branch of government into a co-equal branch of government with the executive and legislative branches.
What You’ll Discover
- Why write a biography
- Why a biography and not a history
- How the stories and lives of people connect us with the past
- John Marshall’s early life and service in the Revolutionary War
- How military service shaped Marshall’s politics
- Marshall’s legal training at William & Mary
- Marshall as a practicing attorney
- Marshall the politician
- Marshall at the Virginia Ratifying Convention
- John Marshall’s reluctant public service
- Marshall’s appointment as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
- The development of the United States Supreme Court
- John Marshall and Thomas Jefferson
- Historians, Biographers, and objectivity
- Marbury v. Madison (1803)
- Marshall the slaveholder
- Marshall’s legacy
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Joel Richard Paul
- Joel on Twitter: @joelrichardpaul
- University of California Hastings College of the Law
- Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times
- Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution
- Joel Sharpton and Pro Podcasting Services
- What Makes Me Weird podcast
- Episode 107: Mary Sarah Bilder, Madison’s Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention
- Episode 117: Annette Gordon-Reed: The Life and Ideas of Thomas Jefferson
- Episode 143: Michael Klarman, The Making of the United States Constitution
- Episode 179: George Van Cleve, After the Revolution: Governance During the Critical Period
- Episode 193: Partisans: The Friendship & Rivalry of Adams & Jefferson
- Episode 209: Considering Biography
In your opinion, what might have happened if John Jay had agreed to President John Adams’ request that he return to the Chief Justiceship of the Supreme Court? What would have happened to the Supreme Court and the development of the judicial branch if Marshall had not served as Chief Justice?
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