Dred Scott was an African American slave who sued for his freedom in 1846. His master was an U.S. Army Officer who took Scott in between free and nonfree states. Of course this happened before the Civil War where the north wanted to abolish slavery while the south did not agree. At that time there were nearly “four million slaves in the United States,” so the outcome of the court case was huge and affected many of people. Dred Scott v. Sandford
Scott’s lawyers try to argue the fact that during the traveling Scott spent more time on free soil then the south. However, Dred Scott’s master took him back into Missouri which is a slave state, and soon after the master died. Scott sued for his freedom in court, claiming he should be free since he had lived on free soil for a long time.
The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Roger B. Taney, was a former slave owner from Maryland. Being The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and owning slaves just made it that much harder for Dred Scott to get his freedom. He lost his case to a seven to two.The Supreme Court said “no slave or descendant of a slave could be a U.S. citizen, or ever had been a U.S. citizen. As a non-citizen, the court stated, Scott had no rights and could not sue in a Federal Court and must remain a slave.” “The ruling served to turn back the clock concerning the rights of African-Americans, ignoring the fact that black men in five of the original States had been full voting citizens dating back to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.” For a man not being to gain freedom for being a different race is unjust especially when his same race had rights to vote.
Two major things came from the Dred Scott v. Sandford court case. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 and Abraham Lincoln. “The Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery north of the parallel 36°30´ in the Louisiana Purchase. The Court declared it violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which prohibits Congress from depriving persons of their property without due process of law.” The Supreme Court was not able to control slavery in the new territories. Later on the Missouri Compromise was declared unconstitutional.
Honest Abe as we all know was against slavery. The Dred Scott v. Sandford separated the political and social world even more. “Abraham Lincoln reacted with disgust to the ruling and was spurred into political action, publicly speaking out against it.” Southerners wanted slavery to spread out through America and so without a doubt they agreed with the court case. With the separation becoming more clear a civil war was bound to break out. In conclusion, the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision lead to The Missouri Compromise 1820 being unconstitutional, Abraham Lincoln stepping up being a political leader and another Supreme Court Case ruling being unjust.