This section is from the book "The Constitutional Law Of The United States", by Westel Woodbury Willoughby. Also available from Amazon: Constitutional Law.
In this chapter will be considered the respective powers of the Federal Government and of the States with reference to Interstate Commerce. The constitutional law governing this subject is very similar to, and its exposition will serve, in a very large measure, to explain, the law governing commerce with foreign nations, with the Indian tribes, with or between the Territories, and with the District of Columbia. In so far as there are differences these will be stated in the special paragraphs devoted to these classes of commerce.1
By Clause 3 of Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, Congress is given the power to " regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."'
The full importance of the grant of authority contained in this clause did not appear for many years after the adoption of the Constitution. Not until 1824 by the decision of the Supreme Court in Gibbons v. Ogden2 was a clear indication given of the extent of the power granted, and not until the Constitution was nearly a hundred years old did Congress begin the exercise of the authority granted it to regulate, affirmatively, commerce between the States. In Prentice and Egan's able treatise3 it is observed that "before the year 1840 the construction of this clause had been involved in but five cases submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1860 the number of cases in that court involving its construction had increased to twenty; in 1870 the number was thirty; by 1880 the number had increased to seventy-seven; in 1890 it was one hundred and fifty-eight; while at present  it is not less than two hundred and thirteen. In the state courts and United States Circuit and District courts the progress is not less significant. In 1840 this clause of the Constitution had been involved in those courts in fifty-eight cases only. In 1860 the number had increased to one hundred and sixty-four; in 1870 it was two hundred and thirty-eight; in 1880 it was four hundred and ninety-four; in 1890 it was eight hundred, while at the present time [1898J it is nearly fourteen hundred." These figures fully justify the remark that "such a history as this can, it is believed, find its parallel in no other branch of constitutional law."
1 See §§ 374-376.
2 9 Wh. 1; 6 L. ed. 23.