Marbury Versus Madison Case As The Turning Point Of History

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As the first semester of History 1301 has come to an end, I have learned many things when it comes to the history of our country. As a lover of crime, action, and thrillers, the unit that really jumped out to me was Unit three’s court cases. From the Marbury vs Madison case, to the Indian Act, and everything in between, the cases shocked me, but also had me wanting more of the information.

February 24th, 1803, the case of Marbury Vs Madison broke out across the nation. In the 1800 presidential election, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams, but before Jefferson took office, Adams, with the help of congress, passed the Judiciary Act of 1801. This act reduced the number of Supreme Court Justices from six to five. The Act was originally an attempt to appoint 16 new circuit judges and 42 new justices, but as you see it didn’t turn out that way. William Marbury had been appointed a Justice of the Peace, but his commission was not delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to compel James Madison, to deliver the documents, but the court found that Madison’s refusal to deliver the commission was illegal and did not order Madison to hand over Marbury’s commission. Instead, the Court held the Judiciary Act of 1789 which enabled Marbury to bring his claim to the Supreme Court, was unconstitutional. In conclusion to the Marbury Vs Madison case, it established the power of the judicial branch with the principle that the Supreme Court may declare an act of Congress void if it is inconsistent with the United States Constitution.

When me and my classmates did a project over one of the cases in class, we had the opportunity to learn about the Worcester Vs Georgia’s legal case. On March 3, 1832, the U.S Supreme Court stated that states did not have the right to impose regulations on Native American land. Although the decision became the principle of tribal sovereignty, it did not protect the Cherokees from being removed from their settlement the Southeast. In 1830 Georgia representatives and some southern states pushed Congress to confirm the Indian Removal Act, which gave Andrew Jackson the authority to summon removal treaties with the Native American tribes. The Cherokees refused to leave and filed with Supreme Court challenging the laws. The Cherokees argued that the laws violated their rights and illegally intruded into their relationship with the United States. Worcester v. Georgia involved a group of Christians, including Samuel A. Worcester, who was living in Cherokee territory at the time. As they were there for missionary work, the men were also advising the Cherokees about resisting Georgia’s attempts to impose state laws on the Cherokee Nation. Because the state of Georgia wanted to make an effort to stop the missionaries, in 1830 they passed an act that forbids “white persons” from living on Cherokee lands unless they obtained a license, and swore an oath of loyalty to Georgia at a hearing. Though Worcester and the other missionaries had been invited by the Cherokee and were serving as missionaries under the federal government, they did not have a license from Georgia, or did they swear a loyalty oath.

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Soon after realizing the truth, Georgia authorities arrested Worcester and several other missionaries, with them being convicted at trial in 1831 and sentenced to four years of hard labour in prison. Worcester argued that Georgia had no right to extend its laws to Cherokee territory and that the act violated the U.S. Constitution. Though the Supreme Court agreed with Worcester, Georgia ignored their statements but shortly granted the prisoners pardons, releasing them in 1833. Although it did not prevent Cherokees from we being removed from their land, the decision was often used to craft Indian law in the United States, creating an important precedent through which American Indians could, reserve some political autonomy.

The last case that really had me doing at home research and reading actual textual information about, is the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which corresponds with the Worcester Vs Georgia case. The act authorized the president at the time, Andrew Jackson, to grant Indian tribes western prairie land in exchange for their territories within state borders, from which the tribes would be removed from. President Andrew Jackson promoted this new policy of no Natives, which became incorporated specifically into this case. Although the bill provided only for the tribes east of the Mississippi for their lands, trouble escalated when the United States started forcing to gain the Indians’ compliance that they accept the land exchange and move west. A number of northern tribes were peacefully resettled in western lands, but a problem spring out in the Southeast, where members of what were known as the Five Civilized Tribes refused to trade their farms for land. Many of these Indians had homes, government, children. and trades other than farming. About 100,000 or more were forced to march under U.S. military orders; up to 25 percent of the Indians, passed en route to their new location. The trek of the Cherokee in became known as the Trail of Tears, the horrific story we still learn about today.

As the first semester of History 1301 has come to an end, I have learned many things when it comes to the history of our country, thanks all to Mr.Bielby. As a lover of crime, action, and thrillers, Unit three really jumped out to me with the court cases. From the Marbury vs Madison case, to the Indian Act, and everything in between, the cases shocked me, but also had me wanting more of the information. As for the rest of the year, you never know what’s going to happen.

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