History in 3 Minutes Podcast

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Hello everyone from “History in 3 Minutes Podcast.” Welcome back! Today, let’s take a look at “Judicial Review and the Louisiana Purchase.” When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801 one of his first priorities was to appoint new federal judges and expand the territory of the United States. William Marbury had been previously appointed Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia by former President Adams. Marbury had already been approved by the senate, but it did not become official until he received his commission. So, Marbury sued the new Secretary of State, James Madison, in order to obtain his commission. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to compel James Madison to deliver the document.

Marbury v. Madison of 1803 became a landmark case. In it, Chief Justice Marshall established the principle of judicial review or the power to declare a law unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that it did not hold the power to compel the Secretary of State (Madison) to deliver Marbury his appointment to the court. However, the Supreme Court also said it was illegal for Madison to not deliver the document. As a result of this ruling Marbury never became a federal judge.

President Jefferson wanted to help the United States grow larger. He asked James Monroe (U.S. ambassador) and Robert Livingston to help with the acquisition of a small piece of land to expand the United States. At the time, the French General Napoleon Bonaparte offered to sell the Louisiana Territory because he needed the money for the Great French War. Monroe and Livingston signed a treaty with France on April 30, 1803 to buy the Louisiana Territory for $11.25 million dollars. In effect, the United States doubled its size with the Louisiana Purchase.

So, Homeschoolers: your vocabulary words to look up today are judicial, review, Louisiana, territory, and treaty.

Younger students: print each vocabulary word 5 times. Draw a picture. Write a sentence using your vocabulary word.

Older students: Write each vocabulary definition 5 times. Sketch an illustration and write a short summary. Imagine you are a Supreme Court Justice. Write down which laws you think are constitutional or unconstitutional and why.

All students – read out loud what you wrote.  You can look for a future word search for review.

That’s all folks. Bye. Bye!


About Martha Quinn

Book author, licensed teacher, master's degree (Reading K-12, Social Studies 7-12). Former homeschooler. Happily married Christian with two terrific children. Loves animals, swimming, music, fishing, gardening, cooking, traveling, exciting movies, good books, and the great outdoors.

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