The John Marshall Project, housed in the Department of Political Science at Boston College, promotes the study of the citizenship and statesmanship needed by a democratic and constitutional republic. John Marshall, the “great Chief Justice” (1803-35), was especially concerned with civic education of the young, and his judicious statesmanship stands as a model from which we today can benefit.

By directly appealing to what Abraham Lincoln called “honorable ambition,” the faculty involved in the Project seek to encourage among our undergraduates a fuller appreciation of inspiring civic leaders and the special requirements and difficulties in leading and sustaining a complicated modern democracy.  The Project will also help train the next generation of college and university professors in the history of political thought, with special attention to the key arguments that did much to establish modern liberal democracy and that still aid in its defense against very real threats to its health and longevity.



What are the favorite maxims of democracy? A strict observance of justice and public faith and a steady adherence to virtue.
John Marshall, On the Federal Constitution