Joseph Story Not a Federalist?

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    I recently found that, according to Wikipedia, Joseph Story was a Democratic-Republican, nominated by James Madison. Now, we know that Madison was a nationalist at the Philadephia Convention, but by the time of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, he appears to have become much more of a small-F federalist in the Jeffersonian sense. But Story was a nationalist, as his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States show (though I confess that I have not read the Commentaries; I am basing the assertion of nationalism on what the faculty here have said about them). I was always under the impression that Story was a Federalist like his mentor, Marshall.

    I have thought that maybe Story was a nationalist as Andrew Jackson the Democrat was, but the Wikipedia article states that “Story opposed Jacksonian democracy, saying it was ‘oppression’ of property rights….” So he sounds like a Federalist again.

    What are we to make of Story? Were there many nationalist Democratic-Republicans?


    Thomas Jefferson warned Madison that appointing US Representative Joseph Story, R-MA, was a bad idea. Madison appointed him anyway. I aver in James Madison and the Making of America that if the goal of a Supreme Court appointment is to have the appointee reflect the president’s constitutional views in his performance on the bench, Story’s was arguably the worst appointment ever. Story became Marshall’s right-hand man in issuing a string of anti-Jeffersonian constitutional holdings, some of which Madison strongly lamented.

    The Second American Party System (Democrats vs. Whigs) was composed of two parties whose leaders had all been Jeffersonian Republicans. The Whigs were generally nationalist.

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