Dred Scott v. Sanford

Dred Scott v. Sanford

Length: 917 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Dred Scott, an African American man who was born into slavery, wanted what all slaves would have wanted, their freedom. They were mistreated, neglected, and treated not as humans, but as property. In 1852, Dred Scott sued his current owner, Sanford, about him, no longer being a slave, but a free man (Oyez 1). In Article four of the Constitution, it states that any slave, who set foot in a free land, makes them a free man. This controversy led to the ruling of the state courts and in the end, came to the final word of the Supreme Court. Is he a slave or a free man?
Being born into slavery meant that Dred Scott had been exchanged from owners to owners (Knappman 16-17). His first owner, the Blows, died, and before their death, they sold Scott to Dr. Emerson. Dr. Emerson soon gave Scott away to his wife’s brother, Sanford (Knappman 16-17). Scott tried to buy his freedom away from Dr. Emerson’s wife but she just wouldn’t accept (Dred Scott Decision 1). Since Scott moved from place to place as a slave, he was able to go to Illinois, which was a free state (Richie 40). Because of the Constitution, Scott used his rights to sue Sanford claiming that he was a free man (Richie 40). With this in mind, it lead to arguments about both parties, the prosecuted and the defendant.
With the help of the antislavery lawyers, they were able to assist the prosecution, Dred Scott, with his court case (Dred Scott Decision 1). Unfortunately, in the first trial, Scott lost due to the reason of not having enough evidence (Dred Scott Decision 1). Scott, determined to get his freedom, was given the chance for a second trial (“Dred Scott Case Collection”). Their main argument, about Sanford violating his Fifth Amendment rights, made them win their case in their second trial (Justia 1). The Fifth Amendment mentions that a person’s life, liberty, or property cannot be taken away without due process of law. They were taking away Scott’s liberty, but he deserved to be free because he was taken to a free state (Dred Scott Decision 1). Does this whole controversy end there?
With Sanford losing in the second trial, it did not just end there. Sanford’s sister, Mrs. Emerson, appealed and because of that, it went to the Missouri Supreme Court (“Dred Scott Case Collection”).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Dred Scott v. Sanford." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Oct 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=218887>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dred Scott V. Sanford Research Paper

- Dred Scott v. Sanford Research Paper Citizenship is often a word taken for guaranteed by natural born citizens in the United States today. The word citizen is a word over looked and skimmed as one may browse through the constitution. In today’s society it may seem long ago that citizenship wasn’t granted to everyone, but the word segregation may strike a nerve. Dred Scott v. Sanford, 1856 landmark Supreme Court case is a prime example of the struggle slaves had in their disputes to be free. There goes another word- free....   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Research Papers
1073 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Dred Scott V. Sanford Case Of 1857

- Dred Scott v. Sanford case of 1857 was a very controversial case in the United States. The Supreme Court ruling is considered to be the worst in history and one of the leading causes of the Civil War. The Supreme Court said that Americans of African descent, free or slave, were not American citizens and could not sue in federal court. This ruling was unconstitutional because the Constitution states that “all Men are created equal.” This ruling is also violating your 14th amendment rights. I don’t think there is a difference between legal and ethics....   [tags: Slavery in the United States]

Research Papers
1380 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about The Dred Scott Case Vs. Sanford Case

- From my perspective, I think the arguments in the Dred Scott case are similar in a way to the earlier ones over the scope of national power, but I also think it weakens the federal government in a way. By ruling in favor of Sandford, it caused a void on the Missouri Compromise to come into affect. This was put in place by the federal government and now after a Missouri state case ruling, it has to be voided away. This shows that states powers are kind of stronger than the federal government because they made them change the rules they put in place in the first place....   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Research Papers
1029 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Dred Scott Vs. Sandford

- In 1857, the United States Supreme Court made a stunning decision to uphold slavery in the territories, denied the legality of black citizenship, and declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 unconstitutional. The Supreme Court case, DRED SCOTT VS. SANDFORD reached the Supreme Court in 1857 after the Missouri Supreme Court against Scott in 1852. Scott’s next step was to take his case out of the state judicial system and into the federal judicial system. After going through the U.S Circuit Court for the District of Missouri it was finally heard by the Supreme Court....   [tags: Slavery in the United States]

Research Papers
1059 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Impact of the Dred Scott Case on the United States

- The Impact of the Dred Scott Case on the United States The Dred Scott Case had a huge impact on the United States as it is today. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments have called it the worst Supreme Court decision ever rendered and was later overturned. The Dred Scott Decision was a key case regarding the issue of slavery; the case started as a slave seeking his rightful freedom and mushroomed into a whole lot more. 65 The reason why Dred Scott decided to pursue his freedom is unknown, but there are a couple theories....   [tags: Dred Scott Case Supreme Court Slavery Essays]

Research Papers
1457 words (4.2 pages)

Dredd Scott Decision Essay

- INTRODUCTION United States Supreme Court case Scott v. Sanford (1857), commonly known as the Dred Scott Case, is probably the most famous case of the nineteenth century (with the exception possibly of Marbury v. Madison). It is one of only four cases in U. S. history that has ever been overturned by a Constitutional amendment (overturned by the 13th and 14th Amendments). It is also, along with Marbury, one of only two cases prior to the Civil War that declared a federal law unconstitutional. This case may have also been one of the most, if not the most, controversial case in American history, due simply to the fact that it dealt an explosive opinion on an issue already prepared to erupt -...   [tags: Supreme Court Scott v. Sanford]

Research Papers
2561 words (7.3 pages)

Essay on An Analysis of the Dred Scott Decision and The People Vs. Hall

- The People vs. Hall and Dread Scott Decision both were very interesting cases. Their similarities zoomed to expose the preamble of the Constitution and make the authors of it think over what they meant by "all men are created equal." This question is still present today, are all men created equal. Or does it mean by men, the white Americans with European decent. The People vs. Hall was a case of murder in 1854. A white man, George W. Hall, was blamed for a murder. A Chinese man was the witness of this murder....   [tags: American History, Legal Issues, Social Issues]

Free Essays
326 words (0.9 pages)

Essay about Dred Scott Case Justice vs Jurisdiction

- Dred Scott Case Justice vs Jurisdiction "Justice v. Jurisdiction, Research Paper on Dred Scott v. Sandford" Described as being poorly educated, indigent, feeble, and ill prone, Dred Scott seemed consistent with society's definition of the black slave. However, he was an articulate man who changed our society and American standards. Married to Harriet Scott with four (4) children, Dred wanted to provide his family with a sense of dignity and decency that a free man's status would warrant him. He was the cause of a change in how society viewed Negroes....   [tags: essays papers]

Research Papers
1907 words (5.4 pages)

Dred Scott v. Sandford Essay

- Dred Scott v. Sandford Dred Scott was born a slave in the state of Virginia around the 1800's. Around 1833 he was purchased from his original owner, Peter Blow, by John Emerson, an officer in the United States Army. Dr. Emerson took Dred Scott to the free state of Illinois to live, and under it's constitution, he was eligible to be free. In around 1836, Dred Scott and his owner moved to Wisconsin territory, a territory that was free under the Missouri compromise. It was in Wisconsin that Dred Scott met and married Harriet Robinson....   [tags: Legal Law]

Research Papers
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Dred Scott

- In this position paper I will explain the trials that Dred Scott had to go through in his life in his attempts for justice to be served. Dred Scott was born in 1799, and was an illiterate slave. His parents were slaves and so he was born the property of the Peter Blow family. In 1804 The United States took possesion of Missouri and after many debates on whether or not it would be a slavery state, a resolution known as the Missouri Compromise came along. This made a balance in the number of free and slave states, the problem was that Missouri was located right in the middle of what was the freedom and slavery....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
790 words (2.3 pages)

The defendant, Sanford, argued that because of some of the laws in Missouri or other states they’ve been to, it doesn’t make Scott a free man (Knappman 18). Not only that, but he justified that Scott did not have the rights as a U.S. Citizen have because he was a slave (David 107). As an owner, he asserted that slaves are meant to be property, and they cannot be taken away from their owner (David107). With those arguments, it convinced the judge of the Missouri Supreme Court and that meant that Sanford won the case in 1852 (“Dred Scott Case Collection”). That meant that Scott was back to being a slave. Desperate for change in his life, he sued John F. A. Sanford and it was no longer a state issue, but a federal one (“Dred Scott Case Collection”).
Now, what was once an issue in Missouri, was now an issue of the Federal Supreme Court. Seven out of nine judges voted Scott to be a slave (“Dred Scott Case Collection”). That meant that Scott’s dream of being free was no longer an option. The two judges that opposed to the seven felt that Scott was a free man, not a slave. The seven judges basically said that since Scott wasn’t a U.S. citizen, he had no right to file a case about his situation (“Dred Scott Case Collection”). All of the Justices wrote their opinion, but Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s opinion was the one that is most referenced. He stated that “African Americans had no rights which any white man was bound to respect” (“Dred Scott Case Collection”).
It just didn’t stop with Scott returning to slavery and Sanford getting his property back, there were huge consequences and events that came after. The Missouri Compromise which outlawed slavery north of Missouri’s northern border, was declared unconstitutional because Congress didn’t have any power or right to ban slavery in the state’s territories (Knappman 17). Not only did the Supreme Court declare one of Congress’s laws unconstitutional, but it helped lead to the Civil War and the ceasing of slavery (Suing for Freedom). Scott did not live to see that day happen, but because of his eagerness for freedom, it convinced a lot of people to end slavery (Suing for Freedom).
As a judge in the Supreme Court, many probably would agree with Scott going back into slavery. He had no right to even sue a citizen of the U.S. because he was not even close to being a citizen. Not only that, but he claimed that his Fifth Amendment right was violated. How can it be violated if he wasn’t a citizen? Those rights only apply to citizens. I admire Scott’s passion and eagerness for becoming free, but I would not let him become a free man. Since in the Constitution it states that any slave who sets foot on free land is free, I would tell Sanford that he only has three more years to keep Scott as his property, and after that, he has to make Scott a free man to make it fair.

Return to 123HelpMe.com