The landmark case that opened up the ability for business to operate across state lines was Gibbons v. Ogden. The case started in 1809, when the Legislature of the State of New York granted exclusive navigation privileges of all boats that moved by fire or stream in the waters within the jurisdiction of the state, for twenty years, to Robert R. Livingston and Robert Fulton (Livingston). They wanted a monopoly on a national network of steamboat lines, but were unsuccessful in their pursuit. Only the Orleans Territory awarded them a monopoly on the lower Mississippi (Livingston).
Competitors were unhappy and challenged this decision. They argued that the federal government had exclusive commerce power and that power superseded state laws. They took their case to court and Livingston and Fulton responded by attempting to undercut their rivals. They would offer them franchises, which they could still control, and they would buy their boats. It...
There would have been no debate about allowing slavery in the newly expanding territories and the South would have been under a tremendous financial and political strain in order to keep the institution of slavery viable. It would effectively make slavery illegal and ineffectual.
Freeing Dred Scot under the Gibbons rule would have ended the expansion of slavery into the newly formed territories since you could no longer transport slaves, either as property or as people. The courts would have had to address the use of slave labor to produce goods as well further crippling slavery.
Had Scot been freed, John Brown would have never felt the need to use violence as a means to free slaves. Since the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 would have been repealed, John Brown would not have needed to start and uprising at Harpers Ferry, and the resulting anger and fear that it caused would not have played a part in our nation going to...
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