Dred Scott - Essay Example

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Dred Scott case can be said to be the worst decision that the United States Supreme Court has ever rendered that it even become the catalyst of the American Civil War. In the Dred Scott case, the United States Supreme Court decided that all people of African descent could not…
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Dred Scott
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Download file to see previous pages In 1836, Emerson moved to Wisconsin which is now Minnesota where again slavery was prohibited under the Missouri Compromise. During their stay at Fort Snelling, Emerson acquired a slave Harriet Robinson which Emerson married.
In 1843, Emerson died and his widow hired Scott out an army action when Scott first sought freedom for himself and his wife. He first attempted to buy his freedom from Mrs. Emerson for $300 but was declined. After the refusal, Scott turned to the courts for his freedom.
The trial begun in June of 1847. He lost because he could not prove that he and his wife Harriet were owned by Mrs. Emerson. He then sought for retrial in 1850 at St. Louis circuit court which ruled that Scott and his wife were free. This decision however was overturned after two years when the Missouri Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court. Scott then elevated the case to a federal court, the United States Circuit Court in Missouri. Unfortunately, the court upheld the Missouri Supreme Court decision.
Dred Scott now has to make his last appeal at the United States Supreme Court.  The majority of the justices however were pro-slavery being appointed by Presidents from the South where five came from slave-holding families. The main argument at the Supreme Court was whether Scott’s was indeed a citizen.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in March of 1857 by Chief Justice Robert B. Taney who wrote also the decision of the court. The decision stated that since Dred was of African descent, a Negro, he was therefore not a citizen of the United States and it follows that he has no right to seek redress to the court for his freedom. At the same time, the decision also declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820which prohibited slavery in selected states to be unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court decision was received with mix reactions. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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