Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



A study of Marshall's early career suggests several reasons for constitutionalism fundamentally different from that of Tucker, a constitutionalism that became law in the early Republic because of Marshall's position on the Supreme Court. The writings and careers of southern constitutionalists like Tucker also merit further study in order to fully appreciate the growing divergence between the views originally expressed by him and those embraced by the nationalists, who decreased in number in the South after Marshall's time. Finally, we should develop a better understanding of the influence of southerners on the formation of legal and constitutional systems in other states. Virginia's influence upon other states is obvious. Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and Florida had territorial governors from Virginia. Even Montana's constitution was a compromise between the Missouri (southern) approach and the Massachusetts approach. Lawyers, trained in Virginia by St. George Tucker and others, fanned out in a similar pattern. Some of the results of this migration are now being studied by legal historians.For example, Maxwell Bloomfield has recognized that several aspiring young attorneys moved from Virginia to Texas after studying law in their native state."Such developments could have important implications for the history of American law in the nineteenth century.