Dred Scott Decision


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  • Dred Scott was a slave who was owned by John Emerson of Missouri. In 1834 Emerson took Scott from Missouri (a slave state) to Illinois (a free state) and finally into the Wisconsin Territory (a free territory).
  • When Dred Scott's master moved back to Missouri, Scott sued for his freedom, claiming that he became free when they moved to the Northern free states
  • Technically I am a free man now according to the Missouri Compromise and division line,
  • The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, as they hoped it would help settle political tensions surrounding the issue of slavery...
  • By now, the brother of Emerson, Sanford, claimed ownership of Scott and his attorney's claimed that Scott had no standing to sue as he was not considered a citizen.
  • You aren't a citizen so no
  • Bogus...
  • Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that Scott could not bring a suit in the court because Blacks had no claim to citizenship. Since slaves were considered propert, accoriing to the 5th Amendment, Congress was prohibited from taking it away.
  • You will be treated as you are; property.
  • The Missouri Compromise had been deemed unconstitutional. To the South, this decision meant that their position on was supported by the supreme law of the land. While they felt a sense of triumph, the North rejected the decision and were in dismay. 
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