This collection of essays, the result of a John Marshall Symposium held in conjunction with the state of West Virginia's celebration of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, examines the contributions of John Marshall and the early Supreme Court from a variety of political and methodological perspectives that have been encouraged by current approaches to constitutional theory and history. It fills a gap in analysis of the constitutional foundations laid by the Marshall Court. It reflects the continuities and changes that have transpired in legal scholarship and political philosophy over the last three decades. Divided into analyses of Marshall's legal decisions, his political philosophy, and his methods of legal interpretation, the essays represent a strong and healthy diversity of opinion on Marshall's contribution to American political and legal development. The essays consider the question of how Marshall's judicial reasoning can be best applied to the continuing process of interpreting the Constitution. Marshall's contributions thus become the starting point for an exercise in political engagement. While often celebrating Marshall's achievements, the contributors attempt to move beyond mere celebration toward a critical analysis of constitutional meaning and political philosophy. Legal scholars and historians alike will welcome this cogent collection and the insight it provides into the early development of constitutional thought and interpretation.