Gibbons v. Ogden

February 5,1824 - March 3, 1824

The Background

Robert Livingston and Robert Fulton hoped to establish monopoly of steam boat lines up and down Mississippi. They did this by giving licenses and buying out other competitors. Aaron Ogden and Thomas Gibbons purchased a license from Fulton.

The partnership breaks down

The partnership broke down when Gibbons had his ship in the Hudson River between Elizabethtown and New York City. This was considered Ogden's route, according to the license given to them by Fulton. Ogden filed a complaint against Gibbons for this trespass.

The two sides

On Gibbons side, there was lawyer Daniel Webster and lawyer William Wirt. On Ogden's side there was lawyer Thomas A. Emmet and Thomas J. Oakley.

The first courts

The New York court of Chancery was the first court that Ogden and went to. The New York court of Chancery agreed with Ogden that Gibbons did not have the right to trespass on the part of the river that was given to Ogden in the license. The second court they went to was the Court of Errors and they ruled against Gibbons.
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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court decided that the states can't change the way that commerce is regulated because it is defined in Article one, section eight, clause three of the Constitution. Also, they ruled that Ogden violated federal licensing act of 1793. This was an act enrolling in and licensing ship and vessels to be employed in the coasting trade and fishers and for regulating the same.

The. Commerce Clause

The commerce clause is what gave power to regulate commerce with foreign nations. This case decided that the federal government had the power to supersede the states ruling and laws. Eventually this would lead to more control by the federal government over commerce. There were many more acts passed in the coming years that would tighten control of commerce.