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Building the JudiciaryLaw, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development$
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Justin Crowe

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691152936

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691152936.001.0001

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Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy

Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy


(p.84) Chapter Three Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy
Building the Judiciary

Justin Crowe

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the reorganization of the federal judiciary from the beginning of Thomas Jefferson's second term as president in 1805 until just prior to the Compromise of 1850. During the first half of the nineteenth century, the government faced a new set of challenges, many of which were the result of the vast territorial expansion. Territorial expansion and the politics of statehood admission intertwined with judicial reform attempts focused primarily on arranging states in circuits and ensuring regional geographic representation on the Supreme Court. The chapter considers the four stages in which the history of judicial institution building unfolded in the eras of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy: the Judiciary Act of 1807, the stalemate over the National Republicans' attempts to extend the circuit system to the West in the mid-1820s, the Whigs' failed consolidation plan of 1835, and the triumph of reform in the Judiciary Act of 1837.

Keywords:   federal judiciary, Compromise of 1850, territorial expansion, judicial reform, Supreme Court, judicial institution building, Judiciary Act of 1807, National Republicans, Whigs, Judiciary Act of 1837

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