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Dred Scott Dbq Essay

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Around the mid-1850s, the extension of slavery into the Western territories threatened to tear the nation apart. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 destroyed the weak balance struck 34 years before between free states and slave states in the Missouri Compromise. Pro and antislavery factions waged conflict for control that later became Bleeding Kansas, before the territory was claimed by the Union. With all the conflicts in the country, Congress was also divided with the nation. Unlike most cases, the Supreme Court made an unusual decision of hearing a slave’s plea to sue for his freedom. The ruling of Dread Scott v. Sandford was an important case because the decision helped lead to other historical changes for African Americans’ rights and answered an important question for Dred Scott. John Marshall had been a very influential advocate for the National Government but died in 1835, so President Andrew Jackson had appointed a new Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney. Taney had mostly followed the expectations John Marshall had left behind but with some modifications. Roger B. Taney had endorsed dual sovereignty, which means that state and Federal Governments are…show more content…
Dred Scott being a slave and property had no rights to sue the Federal Court. The court also struck down the Missouri Compromise as being unconstitutional because it went against the rights of property slave owners to take their property anywhere in the United States, which deprived the 5th Amendment. Any line or law that limited the right of slave owners was considered to be unconstitutional. Taney then also ruled that Congress could not extend any territorial government powers that it did not possess. Taney declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional which destroyed the principle of popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty held that territories could decide whether or not to allow slavery for
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