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Dred Scott Decision
Transcript of Dred Scott Decision
After Dred Scott's previous owner Dr. John Emerson died and his wife refused to set him free. Scott sued for his freedom on the grounds that his owner had taken him Illinois and Wisconsin where slavery had been prohibited due to the Missouri Comprimse in 1820. After a loss in the St. Louis County Circuit Court and a win that was ignored and turned down in the Missouri State Court Scott was appealed by the U.S. Supreme Court where he was turned down his freedom due to the fact that slaves were chattle (property), not citizens, and didn't apply under the same laws in the costitution, so they could be re-captured. Rodger B. Taney said that slaves were "so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit." Do to slaves being "chattle". The Dred Scott Case also clearly revealed where the goverment stood on the subject of slavery. The southerners thought of the decision as a win to now support slavery with a legal standing and also came to a conclusion that northerners were anti-southern due to their support for Scott during the trial.
Dred Scott's first attempt to sue was in 1846 at the St. Louis County Circuit Court
Scott appealed to The Missouri State Supreme Court in 1852
The U.S. supreme court made their verdict in 1875
Dred Scott- slave ( property of John Emerson)
John Emerson- owner of Dred Scott & army surgeon
Roger B. Taney- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Impact on Sectionalism
Many Northeners feared that the decision took away the power that Congress had to regulate slavery in the new territory, leaving the possibilty open of it expanding west, or in already free states.
The fear in the north contributed to the Civil War.
Even when the war was coming to an end a mention to the north about the decision struck a nerve in the Northern Congress.
The Dred Scott Decision seperated the north and the south even more.
1) Why did the Dred Scott Decision have such a big impact on the North?
2) Were there any alternatives that could have avoided what happened?
3) Do you think this decision alone could have started the Civil War?
4) What did the south gain from the verdict of the trial.
Symbolsim: HIghlighted the impact of the dred scott decision on race. Dred scott plays the music in the backround leading the Quadrille as Abraham Lincon dances with a black woman (upper right), John Bell dances with an Indian (lower right),Stephen A. Douglas dances with an irishman (bottom left), John C. Breckinridge is with James Buchanan (the goat guy) (upper left)
John Sandford- Mrs. Emerson's brother/ Scott sued him for citizenship