The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 427
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chapters. Each chapter contains an interpretative introduction
and a selection from the opinion of a famous case.
The introductions to each part and chapter are exceedingly
well done. About each case Professor Williams has written inter-
esting facts which indicate its significance in constitutional law,
and he has also chosen some tidbits from the history of the times
and the setting of the controversy which tend to lift the cases
from the dusty shelves of the lawyer and place them in the stream
of living history.
Williams pictures vividly the role the Supreme Court has
played in shaping American institutions and influencing American
life. Beginning with the section containing four great opinions
of the Marshall Court (three by the Chief Justice and one by
Mr. Justice Story), the author depicts the part the court played
in welding the nation together and defining the powers and
limitations of the states and the nation under the new constitu-
tion. Part Two deals with the Civil War and its aftermath showing
the position of the Supreme Court during this critical period
when it became necessary to face the question of slavery, define
the nature of the union during the period of division and Civil
War, rule on actions growing out of the war, and interpret the
post-Civil War constitutional amendments and laws which indi-
cated new trends in our national life and in constitutional in-
Part Three is a brief section called "The Supreme Court Enters
the Twentieth Century." The selection of cases here emphasizes
the dissent to the laissez faire doctrine developed by the Court
in the late nineteenth century, which reached its peak in the early
twentieth century. This section points the way to Part Four of
the book which the author styles "The Era of Holmes." Part Five,
entitled "Chief Justice Hughes and the Court of the Nine Old
Men," and Part Six, "The Modern Supreme Court," bring the
history of the Supreme Court up to the present time.
Most of the cases cited emphasize the enduring question of
federal-state relations and the problems associated with the nature
of the union controversy. The longest section of the book deal-
ing with the Civil War problem is possibly the most interesting
section from this viewpoint. The Civil War, of course, repre-
sented the ultimate challenge of the "states rights" theory, and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/462/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.