Gibbons v. Ogden

By: Arely and Gabby

Background Information

In 1808 Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston were granted a monopoly to operate steamboats on New York waters. They also granted Ogden the right to operate his steamboats on the waters while he was going from New York to New Jersey

Ogden's side

Ogden had a New York license to operate on the state's waterways. This helped protect him from competition. Ogden noticed that a man named Thomas Gibbons was also operating his steamboat on the New York waters. This made Ogden mad and so he filled an injunction against Gibbons. He argued that since states had passed laws regarding interstate matters before, they should have full concurrent powers with Congress concerning interstate commerce. The New York courts ruled in favor of Ogden.

Gibbon's side

Gibbons had a license from the federal government to operate a steamboat through interstate waterways.He was denied access to these waterways by the State of New York, which cited its law as enforcement. Gibbons claimed he had the right to operate on the route pursuant to a 1793 act of Congress regulating coastal commerce and he appealed to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court rules in favor of Gibbons.

What did it change?

The Gibbons decision established for all time the supremacy of the National Government in all matters affecting interstate and foreign commerce. As a result of this decision, State-licensed monopolies on island waterways ended and business competition was encouraged.