What is the Dred Scott Decision?
I have searched online and in books but i can never get a strait answer! I would like to really know what was the Dred Scott decision. Please help me out!
- staisilLv 77 years agoBest Answer
Dred Scott was a Missouri slave who sued for his freedom. Scott claimed that his four year stay in the northern portion of the Louisiana Territory, which was made free land by the Missouri Compromise, had made him a free man.
The Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that Scott had no right to sue in Federal Court because black slaves were not citizens. Slaves were property and the property rights of slave owners were protected in all states.
- ammianusLv 77 years ago
The Dred Scott decision said:
A slave remained a slave under Federal law,wherever he might be in the US at any given time,even in a Free State where slavery was banned.
Slaves were property,and not citizens,and as they were not citizens,they had no rights under law to bring any kind of court case anywhere in USA.
As the Constitution specifically protects property,a slave remains the property of their owner at all times and in all places under Federal US law.
The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was thus unconstitutional.
The implication of all this was that slavery and slaves was thus legal throughout the US,and this opened up the possibility that pro slavery Southerners could use the courts to get slavery extended in to Free States and into US Territories and states formed from them in the future.
- ArbieLv 67 years ago
Dred Scott v. San[d]ford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), available online.
The case was the result of a friendly suit designed to test the limits of fugitive slave laws, but it backfired.
A Boston abolitionist bought a slave, Dred Scott, in Missouri and moved him around the country, including to Illinois and to what then still was federal territory in Wisconsin. He then allowed Scott to sue for his freedom on the ground that he had been transported to areas where slavery was prohibited, and that this made him a free man.
The Supreme Court threw a monkey wrench into the case and, with that, helped destroy the developed middle ground in the slavery debate. The Court ruled:
Judgment reversed and suit dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
1. Persons of African descent cannot be, nor were they ever intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Const. Plaintiff is without standing to file a suit.
2. The Property Clause is only applicable to lands possessed at the time of ratification (1787). As such, Congress cannot ban slavery in the territories. Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional.
3. Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from freeing slaves brought into federal territories.
By declaring the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional and casting doubt on the legality of the Compromise of 1850, the Court undermined not only abolitionism but also efforts to ban slavery for economic reasons. All the states had slavery at one time. Connecticut did not ban it untill 1844. Save for the 13th Amendment, it never has been banned in New Hampshire. And, with the Depression of 1857 beginning to bite, the Court created fertile ground for the emerging Republican Party to play a two-faced tune. In Boston (where slavery had been illegal since the Quark Walker case in 1776), Republicans could make moral appeals to abolition -- slavery prevented the black man from working out his salvation and kept him from possibly going to heaven. But, in Philadelphia, the appeal was much more to the gut: "You let slavery be re-established in federal territories, and pretty soon it will be reimposed on Pennsylvania! Then some [unpaid] ****** will have your job, and you'll be unemployed in the street!" The Republicans scared enough people to put Lincoln in the White House in 1860, and that precipitated the Civil War.
Ever since, the Court, itself, has referred to Dred Scott as its "self-inflicted wound," since it did not have to decide any of the questions it actually reached; and, it now has rules which prevent a constitutional question from being decided in a contrived or "friendly" suit.
- goodmanLv 43 years ago
Dred Scott became a slave. His proprietor took him north to a loose state, and Scott desperate he could be loose. The case went to the very ultimate courtroom, and the courtroom governed against Scott. It suggested that he became nonetheless a slave.
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- TheSicilianSageLv 77 years ago
See: "Dred Scott Case Summary" - http://www.umsl.edu/virtualstl/phase2/1850/events/...
- Anonymous7 years ago
He was still a slave.