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Constitutional Law Keyed to Varat
McCulloch v. Maryland
Citation:17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316, 4 L.Ed. 579 (1819).
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
After a debate between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson about the constitutionality of a national bank, President George Washington signed a bill to incorporate the First Bank. However, the Bank fell out of favor, and its charter was not renewed. In 1816, President Madison approved a plan for the second Bank of the United States. Some states believed that federal banks hurt their state-owned banks and passed legislation either prohibiting federal banks from being chartered within their borders or taxing them excessively. Maryland taxed the Bank of the United States by requiring the Bank to issue notes only “upon stamped paper.” The Bank could avoid the tax by paying the state $15,000 annually. Each time the Bank issued notes on unstamped paper, it would be fined $500. McCulloch, the cashier for the Bank, refused to pay the tax.
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