After a four year hiatus in the Supreme Court docket, the court finally rule in 1824, the case of Gibbons v. Ogden, which eventually proclaimed the federally supremacy clause and the commerce clause, but it’s impact of American commerce can still be felt today. The loose interpretation of the Constitution by Chief Justice Marshall had greatly infuriated and scared the Southerners because if the government could regulate interstate commerce, then it could one day regulate slavery; it’s technically commerce. Therefore, states such as South Carolina passed the Negro Seamen Act, which was later struck down unconstitutional, greatly hit the issue of slavery. South Carolinians had great bases for their beliefs because of the recent Denmark Vesey uprising.
Often this case is coined as the ‘Emancipation Proclamation of American Commerce,’ it should be gladly called that because of the reflection on the elasticity of the great paper known as the Constitution. The case solidified the Congress held all powers to regulate any modes of Commerce. Gibbons v. Ogden would prevail with the inventions of trains and airplanes as modes of commercial activities. Congress, with this case, was later to pass measure that would outlaw unfair price fixing on transportation of foods and pass epochal measures such as the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Federal supremacy was also finally solidified by this case.
New York said that the Federal Coasting license that Thomas Gibbons had was useless in New York waters. Thus this sets-up the great issue of the day state gov’t v. federal gov’t. But as New York and the rest of the United States finally gets into it’s head that the Constitution is the law of the land and that in Article IV, it states that ‘federal laws supersedes state laws ” The case, Gibbons v. Ogden, impacted American commerce and government for over two hundred years in more than one way. Chief Justice Marshall said proudly ‘E pluribus unum,’ which means out of many (one) and with that our federal government has grown and prosper..
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