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The Dred Scott Decision

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  1. The Dred Scott Decision and its consequences

  2. By the end of this lesson you will… • Know and understand the impact of the Dred Scott decision on the development of sectionalism in the U.S. PLTS FOCUS –Creative thinking

  3. Who was Dred Scott? African American Slave -His owner was a US army surgeon, who was a Missouri slave owner -Dred Scott accompanied his master (owner) first to Illinois, then to the territory of Wisconsin -after his owners death in 1846 Dred Scott sued for his freedom On the grounds of “that residence in a free state and in a free territory made free by the Missouri Compromise made him a free man Question- what was the Missouri Compromise?

  4. Scott first sued in the local Missouri law courts and won his claim However the Missouri Supreme state court over turned the lower courts decision- in 1852 Another attempt failed in court in New York -His lawyers then appealed to the US Supreme Court The case now became a national issue –Explain how the North and How the South would react to the case

  5. TASK • Complete worksheet on DredScotts Journey

  6. Dred Scott’s Journey

  7. The Dred Scot Case There were three main questions that the US Supreme Court had to answer • Did Dred Scot have the right to sue in a federal court? • Was he free as a result of having lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin? • Could slave holders take their ‘property’ anywhere – above the Missouri compromise line

  8. US Supreme Court US Supreme court – 4, Northern Justices and 5, Southern Justices ->US supreme court chief Justice Roger B Taney -> Southern Slave holder The south was therefore confident of the Court ruling in their favour -The US supreme court would use the case to solve the issue of whether slavery could legally be excluded from a territory

  9. By the end of this lesson you will… • To highlight the main feature of the Supreme Courts decision in the Dred Scott case. • To assess the importance of the Dred Scott decision in heightening sectional tension between North and South

  10. TASK • You are to read extracts of the Supreme Courts decision in the Dred Scott case • You are to re-write it in your own words

  11. The Decision The Court decided by 7 votes to 2.... 1. Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom as ‘Black Americans’ either slave or free were not US citizens 2. Scott’s stay in both Illinois and Wisconsin made no difference – Slave owners could take their property anywhere 3. The Missouri Compromise line of 1820 was unconstitutional

  12. Controversy of the Decision • 5 of Supreme Court justices were Southerners • US president James Buchanan knew about the decision days before hand- some suggested he even consulted with Chief Justice Taney • Historians have considered Taney to be a adovcate of states rights who disliked the North and had concept of the newly formed Republican Party • 2 Northern Democrat justices supported the Dred Scott decision in the Supreme Court

  13. GROUP ACTIVITY • You will get into 5/6 groups • You will assume the role of one of the following • 1) Republicans • 2) Southern Slave Holders • 3) Abolitionists • 4) Free Blacks • 5) Northerners • 6) British diplomats • REMEMBER- Everyone needs to contribute and one person will need to be chosen to present back to the class

  14. Reaction to the Dred Scot decision Northern Reaction -Proof of ‘Slave power conspiracy at work’ -Northern press attack the Supreme courts decision -Abolitionists condemned the ruling as it denied blacks right to citizenship -Caused many moderate northerners to looked at the moral implications of slavery Newspaper headlines............ ‘SLAVERY ALONE NATIONAL’ ‘THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ ‘NEGROES CANNOT BE CITIZENS’ ’THE TRIUMPH OF SLAVERY COMPLETE’

  15. Republican reactions “ A wicked and False judgement” “an Aarocious doctrine” “A wilful perversion” “a collation of false statements” “The greatest crime in the judicial annals of the Republic” -Republicans claimed that US President James Buchanan and the Supreme Court had conspired to extend slavery throughout the country -Republicans stated that the ruling should not be followed and that if elected they would overrule the decision

  16. The Southern Reaction • The South praised the decision “Southern opinion upon the subject of southern slavery...is now the supreme law of the land opposition to the southern opinion on this subject is now opposite to the constitution and morally treason against the government • Northern Democrats- They called the decision also praised the decision “The funeral sermon of Black Republicanism. It crushes into nothingness the whole theory upon which their party was founded” -They stated that the decision was law and the Republicans could not go against it

  17. The Southern Reaction • The South praised the decision “An important question has been decided emphatically in favour of the supporters of the Constitution and of the Union and of the rights of the South. Reason and right, justice and truth always triumph over passion and prejudice, ignorance and envy when able and honest men make the judgement”. –The Richmond Enquirer 1857 • It affirmed the rights of Slave Holders -Slavery could no go anywhere

  18. Impact on the USA Short Term -Increased sectional tension between North and South -Republican party gained in popularity -Slavery could effectively go anywhere -Damaged the standing of the Democrats in the North -Increased violence in Kansas -Undermined the concept of ‘Popular Sovereignty’ Long Term -Brought the slavery issue back to the centre stage –increased sectional tension -Showed that government did not have the power to stop slavery -Made civil war inevitable?

  19. Extension Task • On the sheet provided there are four sources relating to the Dred Scot decision- Some will be from a Anti-slavery perspective, whilst some will be from a pro-slavery perspective • Using the sources answer the questions on the sheet • You have 20 minutes to do this