John Marshall was one of the Federalist "Midnight Judges" appointed at the last minute by John Adams in an expanded judicial system, mainly to frustrate and block incoming Thomas Jefferson from undoing everything Adams had done as President. He was a consistent supporter of the federal government in his rulings, from Marbury vs. Madison in 1803. Marshall guided the court for over 30 years, and almost always came down on the side of the federal government in terms of authority over states and businesses.
Particularly in McCulloch vs. Maryland, writing for the majority, Marshall said, "The power to tax implies the power to destroy", and denied the right of states to tax federal property or institutions. This was a key ruling during his tenure.