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Commerce Clause, Tariff, Trade, Constitutional Law, John Marshall, Alexander Brown & Sons, Maryland, Roger Taney, William Wirt, Baltimore


This paper examines the United States Supreme Court case Brown v. Maryland, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 419 (1827), which struck down Maryland’s licensing fee on wholesalers of imported goods. In doing so, the Court reaffirmed its commitment to a national economic policy, instead of a state-centric system. This paper explores the context of the decision, including profiles of the parties involved, the attorneys for both sides, the lower court decisions, and the majority opinion and dissent from the United States Supreme Court. Additionally, this paper follows the lineage of the case through to the present day, examining its doctrinal impact and lingering effects on contemporary issues of taxation and commerce.


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