In essence, the decision argued that Scott was a slave and as such was not a citizen and… Background Dred Scott was a slave who was owned by John Emerson of Missouri.
From the s, the question of whether slavery would be permitted in new territories had threatened the Union. Over the decades, many compromises had been made to avoid disunion. But what did the Constitution say on this subject? This question was raised in before the Supreme Court in case of Dred Scott vs.
Dred Scott was a slave of an army surgeon, John Emerson. Scott had been taken from Missouri to posts in Illinois and what is now Minnesota for several years in the s, before returning to Missouri. The Missouri Compromise of had declared the area including Minnesota free. InScott sued for his freedom on the grounds that he had lived in a free state and a free territory for a prolonged period of time.
Finally, after eleven years, his case reached the Supreme Court. At stake were answers to critical questions, including slavery in the territories and citizenship of African-Americans. The verdict was a bombshell. The Court further ruled that as a black man Scott was excluded from United States citizenship and could not, therefore, bring suit.
According to the opinion of the Court, African-Americans had not been part of the "sovereign people" who made the Constitution. The Court also ruled that Congress never had the right to prohibit slavery in any territory.
Any ban on slavery was a violation of the Fifth Amendmentwhich prohibited denying property rights without due process of law.
The Missouri Compromise was therefore unconstitutional.
Dred Scott's battle for his freedom began at the Old Courthouse in St. Taney, a former slave owner, as were four other southern justices on the Court. The two dissenting justices of the nine-member Court were the only Republicans. The north refused to accept a decision by a Court they felt was dominated by "Southern fire-eaters.
Two of the three branches of government, the Congress and the President, had failed to resolve the issue. Now the Supreme Court rendered a decision that was only accepted in the southern half of the country.
Was the American experiment collapsing?
The only remaining national political institution with both northern and southern strength was the Democratic Party, and it was now splitting at the seams. The fate of the Union looked hopeless. Sandford Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the now infamous opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case, and the text is available on this webpage.
But six other justices concurred with the decision, and two dissented.
Each of them also wrote opinions which are found here as well and which provide further insight into the court's judgment.This question was raised in before the Supreme Court in case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford.
Dred Scott was a slave of an army surgeon, John Emerson. Scott had been taken from Missouri to posts in Illinois and what is now Minnesota for several years in the s, before returning to Missouri. Sep 12, · Watch video · The Dred Scott decision was the culmination of the case of Dred Scott v.
Sanford, one of the most controversial events preceding the Civil War. In March , the Supreme Court issued its decision. In his opinion on the case Dred Scott v Sanford, Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that congress had no right to regulate slavery in United States territories After the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Senator Stephen Douglas won his re-election bid, while Abraham Lincoln's actions in the debate served to.
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Dred Scott had been a slave owned by a resident of Missouri, Dr. Emerson. Between and , Scott lived with his master in the state of Illinois and in what today is Minnesota. At that time. slavery was banned in Minnesota by the Missouri Compromise.
In Dred Scott v. Sandford (argued -- decided ), the Supreme Court ruled that Americans of African descent, whether free or slave, were not American citizens and could not sue in federal.