Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)

Our subscribers' grade-level estimate for this page: 6th

African-American History
Dred Scott
EnchantedLearning.com

Dred scottDred Scott (1795-1858) was a slave who sued for his freedom in court, since he had been taken to a "free" state (Wisconsin). He lost his case in St. Louis, Missouri, but won it on appeal. His case was again appealed and Scott lost. The results of his court case led to major political upheavals in the USA and, eventually, the Civil War.

Scott's case went on to the Supreme Court : Dred Scott v. Sandford, presided over by Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, a staunch advocate of slavery and the expansion of slavery into new US territories. On March 6, 1857, the Court ruled against Scott on the basis that slaves were not citizens of the United States (and could never be citizens) and did not have the right to bring a case to court - since blacks were "property." In this decision, Taney wrote that blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it." Referring to the Declaration of Independence (and the phrase, "all men are created equal,"), Taney wrote, "it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration..." The Court did not rule on the original question of whether or not Scott had a claim to freedom - they dismissed it.

Associate Justice Benjamin R. Curtis (from Massachusetts), disagreed so strongly with Taney's decision that he left the Supreme Court in protest. Shortly after the Supreme Court's inhuman and shameful decision, Scott was sold and then freed by his "owner." Scott died from tuberculosis about a year later.

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.

The questions brought up in the Dred Scott case were not settled until the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution (freeing slaves in 1865) and the 14th Amendment (making former slaves citizens of the United States in 1868).

Related Page:


Dred Scott
A Printable Worksheet

A printable worksheet on the slave Dred Scott who sued for his freedom. The printout has information on Dred Scott, questions, and a picture to color. Answers: 1. He lost the case, 2. Yes, 3. Slavery expanded, 4. 13th Amendment, 1865, 5. 14th Amendment, 1868 .


Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.


Copyright ©2001 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page