The Infamous Dred Scott Decision Essay

The Infamous Dred Scott Decision Essay

Length: 736 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to the Declaration of Independence, signed in 1776, "[...] all men are created equal, [and] they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." One would then expect that every man, would be entitled to their freedom, and it was true, for all white men. African-Americans, however, faced a very different reality. They were still forced into slavery, they were deprived of those rights that all men were meant to have. While the north states opposed slavery, it was permitted in the south, and as the slavery issue raged on, one man would stand to fight for his freedom. His case, would go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court's decision would divide the nation.
Dred Scott, a man of African descent, was born in slavery between 1795 and 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia. In 1833, sold by his original owner, he became the property of Dr.John Emerson, a military surgeon stationed in Jefferson Barracks, south of St.Louis. Over the next decade,Dr. Emerson took Scott, as he was reappointed to new posts in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory, both free territories by the Missouri Compromise. During this decade, Scott met and married Harriet Robinson, also a slave. John Emerson, also married a woman named Eliza Irene Sanford, daughter of a wealthy Virginia manufacturer, in 1838. In December 1842, shortly after returning to St.Louis, Dr. Emerson died of tuberculosis. His widow, Irene, inherited his entire state and decided to hire out Scott and his family to other families in St.Louis. Finally,after enduring 3 years of separation working for different families, the Scotts took their first step towards being free.
In 1846,after an uns...


... middle of paper ...


...hey believed it gave the south the power to expand slavery past their borders and “[threatened] the economic aspirations of free white laborers.”# Although Taney intended to end the slavery debate between the north and south, the Court’s decision had the opposite effect. It further widened the already abysmal gap between the two sides.




Bibliography



Nayden, Corine, and Rose Blue. Dred Scott: Person or Property, New York: Benchmark Books, 2005.

Currie, Stephen. The Struggle for Equality:Landmark Court Cases, Minnesota: Lucent Books, 2010.

McNeese, Tim. Dred Scott v. Sandford: The Pursuit of Freedom, New York: Chelsea House, 2007.


Missouri Digital Heritage: Collections : Dred Scott Case, 1846-1857. Missouri Secretary of State Home Page. 2007. Web. 08 June 2010. .



Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Dred Scott A Free Man Or A Slave? Essay

- Dred Scott v. Sandford Was Dred Scott a free man or a slave. The Dred Scott v. Sandford case is about a slave named Dred Scott from Missouri who sued for his freedom. His owner, John Emerson, had taken Scott along with him to Illinois which was one of the states that prohibited slavery. Scott’s owner later passed away after returning back to Missouri. After suits and counter suits the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court with a 7-2 decision. Chief Justice Taney spoke for the majority, when saying that Dred Scott could not sue because he was not a citizen, also that congress did not have the constitutional power to abolish slavery, and that the Missouri compromise was unconstitution...   [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
951 words (2.7 pages)

Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas

- The landmark Supreme Court cases of Dred Scott v. Sandford, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas have had a tremendous effect on the struggle for equal rights in America. These marker cases have set the precedent for cases dealing with the issue of civil equality for the last 150 years. In 1846, a slave living in Missouri named Dred Scott, sued for his freedom on the basis that he had lived for a total of seven years in territories that were closed to slavery....   [tags: Landmark Civil Rights Cases]

Better Essays
844 words (2.4 pages)

The Dred Scott Decision Case Essay

- Before the Civil War, the country was separating between North and South. The causes of this splitting are disagreements over tariffs and the matter of slavery, which was legal in the South but had gradually been banned by states north of the Mason-Dixon Line. As the US acquired new territories in the west, unpleasant disputes erupted over whether or not slavery would be legitimate in those newly acquired territories. Southerners became paranoid and began to believe the addition of new non-slaveholding states but no new slaveholding states would give control of the government to abolitionists, and the institution of slavery would be outlawed completely....   [tags: United States, American Civil War]

Better Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Dred Scott Decision Essays

- Around the 1850’s, tension between the Northern states and the Southern states was rising. The issue of slavery was a conflict that greatly contributed to this tension. The Northern and Southern people had very different views on slavery. Most of the Northern people thought that slavery was wrong, while the Southern people thought that slavery was justified. During this time, a court case filed by a black slave against his white slave master occurred and it widened the gap between them even more....   [tags: U.S. History ]

Better Essays
1109 words (3.2 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]

Better Essays
1457 words (4.2 pages)

The Dred Scott Decision Essay

- The Dred Scott Decision The Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court in March 1857 was one of the major steps on the road to secession. Dred Scott was a slave who was taken to Missouri from Virginia and sold. His new master then moved to Illinois (a free state) for a while but soon moved back to Missouri. Upon his master's death, Scott claimed that since he had resided in a free state, he was consequentially a free man. The case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. As stated by Supreme Court Justice C....   [tags: American History]

Free Essays
2548 words (7.3 pages)

Dred Scott v. Sanford Essay

- 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....   [tags: American History, Slavery, Freedom]

Free Essays
917 words (2.6 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)

Dred Scott case Essay

- On June 19th 1862 the US Congress prohibits slavery in the United States territories nullifying the Dred Scott Case. This was the most important day in US history for African Americans. This is because it helped blacks gain the rights they deserve. It also gave them rights they never thought they could achieve. This Court case of Scott vs. Sanford was a catalyst to riots, other court cases such as Brown vs. Board of Education, Rachel vs. Walker and many acts and amendments resulted from one mans wish to be free....   [tags: American History, African Americans ]

Better Essays
1923 words (5.5 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]

Better Essays
790 words (2.3 pages)