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The 1819 Maryland case that affirmed Hamilton's genius on banks and federal power

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Roughly Speaking with Dan Rodricks:

The uber-musical “Hamilton” comes to Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater in June, and in this episode of the show: Some Maryland history related to Alexander Hamilton, founder of the nation’s financial system and its first Secretary of the Treasury.

In McCulloch v. Maryland, a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court in the winter of 1819, statesman Daniel Webster defended the legitimacy of a national bank that had opened a branch in Baltimore. The Maryland General Assembly, sympathetic to struggling state bankers, had tried to tax the federal bank out of existence. Webster invoked Hamilton’s belief in the "implied powers" of the Constitution to broadly define the national government’s supremacy over the states. As a result, McCulloch is considered one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in history.

Our guest, Kathleen Day, covers the decision in her new book of American financial history.

A long-time journalist, Day is now on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, where she lectures on the history of the country’s banking system and why financial crises keep happening. Her book, "Broken Bargain — Bankers, Bailouts and the Struggle to Tame Wall Street," was published earlier this year by Yale University Press.

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