Thursday, September 19, 2019

Gibbons v Ogden Decision Fair or Unfair :: essays papers

Gibbons v Ogden Decision Fair or Unfair The decision in the Gibbons v. Ogden case is, in my opinion, a very just and fair one. Many believe it to be the first anti- trust decision in U.S. history. The economic results cannot be over-estimated, a different decision could have resulted in completely different circumstances than with which we are accustomed to today. The free flow of commerce, which we seem to almost take for granted in modern economics and business, may have never been a possibility without decisions such as this. Monopolies did not allow for equal division of business and therefore was unjust. If all men are created equal they should be given equal opportunities. The New York Livingston-Fulton monopoly clearly subjected any potential competition to harsh conditions that would make it impossible for them to keep up in their business. Travel by steamboat was much faster than any other means in the time of this case and to give complete control to only one partnership was unfair. Under the constitution Congress has the right to regulate commerce. Although the monopoly was a form of internal state trade regulation it directly impacted on inter-state trade after a number of states passed laws to come back at the New York monopoly. Therefore, Congress had the right to intervene and end the monopoly. To completely understand the impact of the Gibbons-Ogden decision it is necessary to understand the situation surrounding it. In 1798 Robert R. Livingston secured an exclusive twenty year grant from the New York legislature. By the terms of this grant he could exclusively navigate by steam the rivers and other waters of the state, provided that within two years he should build a boat which would make four miles an hour against the current of the Hudson River. The legislature had no faith whatsoever in the project but the decision was still made against the many jeers. The terms of the grant were not met and it was renewed in 1803, this time to Livingston and his new partner, Robert Fulton. It was renewed once more in 1807 and finally that August Fulton’s steamboat made its first successful trip from New York to Albany. The following year the Legislature, fully aware of the practical significance of Fulton’s achievement, passed a law stating that for each new boat navigated on New York waters by Fulton and Livingston that they should be provided with a five year extension to their monopoly, which may not exceed thirty years.

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