In May, 1818, James William McCulloch was a cashier at the Baltimore branch of the Second Bank of the United States. McCulloch issued a series of bank notes on which the bank did not pay a Maryland state tax. The state treasurer quickly sued to recover the money and won a judgment in Maryland’s highest court. The Supreme Court soon accepted the case, which would have a profound impact in defining the principle of federalism, the reading of the Necessary and Proper Clause in the Constitution, and the national vision of the Marshall Court.
The Election of 1864: Constitutional Issues Raised by Lincoln’s Conduct of the War
The 1864 election pitted the incumbent, Republican President Abraham Lincoln, against George McClellan of the Democratic Party. It was the first election since 1840 in which an incumbent was renominated by his own party. A major focus of the election was the Civil War and the divided Union. Lincoln’s actions as President would also be considered by the electorate, which reelected him in a landslide.