Commerce

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Commerce

The exchange of goods, products, or any type of Personal Property. Trade and traffic carried on between different peoples or states and its inhabitants, including not only the purchase, sale, and exchange of commodities but also the instrumentalities, agencies, and means by which business is accomplished. The transportation of persons and goods, by air, land, and sea. The exchange of merchandise on a large scale between different places or communities.

Although the terms commerce and trade are often used interchangeably, commerce refers to large-scale business activity, while trade describes commercial traffic within a state or a community.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

BILLS PAYABLE, COMMERCE. Engagements which a merchant has entered into in writing, and which he is to pay on their becoming due. Pard. n. 85.

COMMERCE, trade, contracts. The exchange of commodities for commodities; considered in a legal point of view, it consists in the various agreements which have for their object to facilitate the exchange of the products of the earth or industry of man, with an intent to realize a profit. Pard. Dr. Coin. n. 1. In a narrower sense, commerce signifies any reciprocal agreements between two persons, by which one delivers to the other a thing, which the latter accepts, and for which he pays a consideration; if the consideration be money, it is called a sale; if any other thing than money, it is called exchange or barter. Domat, Dr. Pub. liv. 1, tit. 7, s. 1, n. 2. Congress have power by the constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. 1 Kent. 431; Story on Const. Sec. 1052, et seq. The sense in which the word commerce is used in the constitution seems not only to include traffic, but intercourse and navigation. Story, Sec. 1057; 9 Wheat. 190, 191, 215, 229; 1 Tuck. Bl. App. 249 to 252. Vide 17 John. R. 488; 4 John. Ch. R. 150; 6 John. Ch. R. 300; 1 Halst. R. 285; Id. 236; 3 Cowen R. 713; 12 Wheat. R. 419; 1 Brock. R. 423; 11 Pet. R. 102; 6 Cowen, R. 169; 3 Dana, R. 274; 6 Pet. R. 515; 13 S. & R. 205.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The defect of power in the existing Confederacy to regulate the commerce between its several members, is in the number of those which have been clearly pointed out by experience.
The regulation of commerce with the Indian tribes is very properly unfettered from two limitations in the articles of Confederation, which render the provision obscure and contradictory.
In the fourth article of the Confederation, it is declared "that the FREE INHABITANTS of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice, excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of FREE CITIZENS in the several States; and THE PEOPLE of each State shall, in every other, enjoy all the privileges of trade and commerce," etc.
The power of establishing uniform laws of bankruptcy is so intimately connected with the regulation of commerce, and will prevent so many frauds where the parties or their property may lie or be removed into different States, that the expediency of it seems not likely to be drawn into question.
The wars of these two last-mentioned nations have in a great measure grown out of commercial considerations, -- the desire of supplanting and the fear of being supplanted, either in particular branches of traffic or in the general advantages of trade and navigation, and sometimes even the more culpable desire of sharing in the commerce of other nations without their consent.
The result has since shown that "what is bred in the bone will break out in the flesh." Commerce was at a standstill; our master passed half his time under arms, as a national guard, in order to keep the revolutionists from revolutionizing the revolution.

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