The Impact of the Dred Scott Decision on Slavery in U.S. Territories Name of Professor Dred Scott was an African-American slave. He struggled to gain his freedom by being a law-abiding individual. His case was passed on to several courts…
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The North and the South had an opposing opinion of slavery. Hostilities and violence were the only way to resolve the problem.i Dred Scott was not able to witness the abolition of slavery. Even so, his determined and fearless struggle for freedom greatly contributed to the ultimate end of slavery. The consequences of the Dred Scott case were experienced by all U.S. territories. For northern territories the decision was very much troubling because it suggested that a legal mechanism by which a territory could put a stop to the establishment of a system of slavery was absent. For southern territories the decision was a stroke of luck that established the legality of slavery and apparently resolved all issues about the legitimacy of the expansion of slavery.ii Only a small number of trials had ever stimulated such a scale of public interest. Due to the Dred Scott decision, the principles of Popular Sovereignty—a doctrine which stipulated that a territory could make a vote whether or not slavery would be lawful-- and Missouri Compromise—an Act that limited slavery to territories located south of the 39th parallel-- became hence null and void.iii Slavery was given the right to expand to all U.S. territories. ...
ssible followers to reconstruct society according to its will, and neither the Congress nor the President was primed to provide a strong support for the Court’s decision. However, many thought that legislative branch possessed the authority to restrict the establishment of the system of slavery into other U.S. territories, but the resolution of the Court had definitely blurred the political system. The nation was yet to understand the consequences of the Dred Scott resolution when the elections and campaigns carried out all over the nation in 1858 created a setting for political dialogue on the issue of slavery. This dialogue was most remarkable in the sequence of debates performed in Illinois where contender Abraham Lincoln and Senator Stephen Douglas talked about the major concerns at the time. Douglas, as one of the key supporters of the principle of popular sovereignty, had to take advantage of the debates to justify how this principle could remain existent as regards to the Dred Scott decision. On the other hand, for Lincoln, who was a somewhat obscure political personality, the media exposure of these debates raised him as a talented orator on behalf of those who aspired to prevent the expansion of slavery into other U.S. territories.iv Although Douglas would in the end achieve another term as senator, it was Lincoln who gained the highest achievement from the debates, for his arguments became very popular and his reputation more well-known. Lincoln, two years later, would run as a presidential candidate. As Douglas and Lincoln discussed the issues of the time, their struggles echoed the nation’s disposition—a society that remained enthusiastic to talk about diplomatically the political issues the influenced national affairs.v Northern and Southern
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