What was the most important result of Marshall's decision in McCulloch v. Maryland?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The McCulloch v Maryland ruling was an important one for several reasons. The state of Maryland decided to tax the federal bank. The bank refused to pay the tax, and the state of Maryland was sued. The lawyers for the bank argued that a state couldn’t tax a federal institution. Since the bank was a federal institution, the tax was, therefore, illegal.

The Supreme Court heard the case and agreed that Maryland’s action was unconstitutional. A state can’t tax a federal institution. Therefore, the bank didn’t have to pay the tax. However, there was one other very significant point made in the decision. The Supreme Court said that a loose view of the Constitution was legal. There was a big debate in our country if people or government had to follow the Constitution exactly as it was written or if the meaning could be interpreted. The Supreme Court’s ruling made a loose view of the Constitution legal. This meant the government would be free to do many more things since the Constitution does not spell out a lot of things the government can do.

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