Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824

Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824

Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824
Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824 – Daniel Webster, pictured in this c. 1851 photograph, argued the case on behalf of Thomas Gibbons in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gibbons v. Ogden, Thomas Gibbons (1757–1826), Aaron Ogden (1756–1839), John Marshall (1755–1835)

Gibbons v. Ogden, a U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1824 that established the idea that states cannot interfere with Congress’s jurisdiction to regulate trade by legislative action. In 1798, the state of New York promised to give Robert Fulton and his backer, Robert R. Livingston, a monopoly on steamboat navigation in state waters provided they produced a steamboat capable of moving upstream on the Hudson River at 4 miles (6.4 km) per hour.

In 1807, Fulton and Livingston fulfilled the grant’s conditions. Following that, Aaron Ogden bought the rights to operate steamboats between New York City and New Jersey from Fulton and Livingston. In 1819, Ogden filed a lawsuit against Thomas Gibbons, who was operating steamboats in the same waters without Fulton or Livingston’s permission. In the New York Court of Chancery, Ogden prevailed in 1820.

Gibbons took his case to the United States Supreme Court, claiming that the provisions of a government license to participate in coasting commerce protected him. Daniel Webster, the preeminent lawyer of the day, pleaded his case before the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court decided in favor of Gibbons in an opinion authored by Chief Justice John Marshall.

The ruling was a significant step forward in the interpretation of the Constitution’s commerce clause, and effectively liberated all monopoly control navigation. The dismantling of navigational monopolies in New York and Louisiana, in particular, facilitated the settlement of the American West.

SEE ALSO:

The U.S. Constitution (1787);

The Power of Judicial Review (1803);

The Interstate Commerce Act (1887).

Sources:

Congressional Regulation of Commerce 1824

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)

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