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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
McCulloch v. Maryland
Citation:17 U.S. (4 Wheat.) 316 (1819)
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Congress created the first Bank of the United States in 1791, but it expired in 1811. In 1816, Congress passed an act that reauthorized the Bank of the United States. In 1817, the Bank opened a branch in Baltimore, Maryland, without any authorization by Maryland. In 1818, the Maryland state legislature passed a law to impose a tax on all banks operating in Maryland that were not chartered by the state legislature. This included the Bank of the United States. James McCulloch, cashier of the Maryland branch of the Bank of the United States, refused to pay the tax instituted by Maryland, arguing that the Maryland tax on the Bank of the United States was unconstitutional. The state of Maryland argued that the Constitution was silent on the subject of whether the U.S. Government could charter a bank, and thus, the Bank of United States was itself unconstitutional.
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