Dred Scott Case

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by pmiletich
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
African-American History

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Dred Scott Case


Lasting Impact

The Dred Scott decision served as an eye-opener to Northerners who believed that slavery was tolerable as long as it stayed in the South. If the decision took away any power Congress once had to regulate slavery in new territories, these once-skeptics reasoned, slavery could quickly expand into much of the western United States.


-"Supreme Court "Mistakes": Dred Scott v. Sandford." YouTube. YouTube, 15 May 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2013-"American Profiles: Dred Scott Timeline." American Profiles: Dred Scott Timeline.. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.1847-1857. "Dred Scott's Fight For Freedom." PBS. PBS, Web. 18 Nov. 2013

Dred ScottCase

Supreme Court Mistakes

The decision in the Scott case imperiled all fugitive slaves and led to the nullification of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This nullification allowed the expansion of slavery into formerly free territories and strengthened the growing movement against slavery. The Dred Scott court case was a pivotal event in American history, eventually leading to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the US, and to the Civil War (1861-1865), during which over 300,000 Americans from both the North and the South were killed.

Dred Scott first went to trial to sue for his freedom in 1847. Ten years later, after a decade of appeals and court reversals, his case was finally brought before the United States Supreme Court. In what is perhaps the most infamous case in its history, the court decided that all people of African ancestry -- slaves as well as those who were free -- could never become citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue in federal court. The court also ruled that the federal government did not have the power to prohibit slavery in its territories.


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